Tuesday, 17 November 2015

12 Years a Slave Review

12 Years a Slave offers a brutal and very honest true life account of the story of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film follows his story after being captured as a free man and sold into the slave trade. As the slaves were rarely able to talk a lot of the emotions in this film are communicated particularly through Ejiofor's facial expressions, which are especially powerful. One moment that stands out is the funeral scene where Ejiofor perfectly encapsulates the emotion and desperation of the scene as the realisation dawns on Solomon that he is stuck for the rest of his life. The film focuses particularly on the harsh conditions that the slaves lived in under the violent rule of their masters, illustrated in this movie by Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Epps. 12 Years a Slave also focuses on the treatment of female slaves and how they were often viewed as sexual objects by the slave masters. One especially striking aspect of the film is the beautiful cinematography, I believe this was consciously done, not just for artistic purposes, but also to juxtapose the gorgeous landscapes with the depraved cruelty of the humans that inhabit it. In conclusion, 12 Years a Slave is one of the best slave narrative films of all time. Its honest depiction of the vile way in which slaves were kept and abused, is incredibly portrayed by all of those involved. It never holds back and is at times an uncomfortable watch, however it is a completely necessary one.

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