Review: 12 Years A Slave

The vail has been dropped on the subject of slavery, time may have passed long enough that people are now more educated about such brutalities and subjects such as the slave trade in order to make a film that will further press the issues that arise with racial discrimination and civil rights. In the past year we have seen many race controversial films made to highlight or provoke opinions about where people lie in such concepts. Un-earthing a great deal of emotion toward subjects that people may have had to live through;

Chiwetel Ejiofor Says Kids Need to See ’12 Years a Slave'(essence magazine)

The striking film is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Solomon Northup—a free African-American in 1841, who was kidnapped from Washington, D.C. and taken into slavery in Louisiana.

Although the film can be heart wrenching to watch at times, its star Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup said to Vibe magazine, “I absolutely think that kids in school should see this movie. I think it’s never too late and it’s never too early to start learning and talking about human respect. I think that’s the overall message of this film.”

As of late, the film, directed by Steve McQueen, has earned a ton of Oscar buzz. However, Ejiofor isn’t thinking about that. He says the positive reaction to the film has been “amazing.” “It has been great and has been very special. But I’m not really thinking about awards at the moment. I’m just thrilled about this movie.”

The film Twelve Years a Slave was originally a book written by Solomon Northrup in (1853), this book is an autobiographical memoir.  The story embarks on his journey from a citizen of New York who was kidnapped in Washington city in 1841 and rescued in 1853 from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana. It is the incredible story of a man who was born free, but was bound into slavery later in life.



‘Slavery Uncovered’


A promising contender for this year’s best picture Oscar has a 120-year-old historical footnote that links it to Omaha.

“12 Years a Slave” is the true story of free black man Solomon Northup of upstate New York, who was kidnapped in 1841 and sold into slavery in the South. Steve McQueen (“Shame,” “Hunger”) directed the movie, which opens here Friday.

Published soon after Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was a book office sell out in 1987 hitting crucial political opinions helped fuel the anti-slavery movement, Fiske said, and Northup toured as a lecturer in the years after its release. He appeared with Frederick Douglass, the famed African-American social reformer. Later Northup became involved in the Underground Railroad in Vermont, spiriting freed slaves northward until after the Civil War broke out in 1861.

Twelve Years a Slave, soon to be a huge new Hollywood film, is the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, enduring unimaginable degradation and abuse until his rescue twelve years later. A powerful and riveting condemnation of American slavery.

One more historical footnote: Solomon Northup Stanton’s half-brother, Charles Stanton (son of Philip and his first wife, Betsey Oakley), served in the Civil War with the Massachusetts 54th, a regiment made famous by the 1989 movie “Glory.” He was wounded and died in a Confederate prison camp. Denzel Washington won an Oscar for a supporting role in that film.

12 Years a Slave

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson
Rating: R for violence/cruelty, some nudity, brief sexuality
Running time: 2 hours, 13 minutes


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