Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

12 Years a Slave; This Affecting Movie Leaves Little to the Imagination about Slavery in America

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

12 Years a Slave; This Affecting Movie Leaves Little to the Imagination about Slavery in America

Article excerpt

THE 12 Years a Slave film is a powerful, violent and incredibly hard-to-watch masterpiece.

The heartbreaking true story of Solomon Northrup (Chiwitel Ejiofor), a black man born free in New York State, who was drugged and kidnapped into slavery, is one of the finest films in recent memory, with some of the best acting to match.

Directed by British filmmaker Steve McQueen, the film is based on the published 1853 memoirs of the real Solomon Northrup. Set in the haunting plantations of pre-American Civil War Louisiana, 12 Years a Slave shows slavery as it was - racist, violent, exploitative, horrifying.

The film portrays two vastly different white slave masters in the film - the thoughtful and relatively kind William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the violently cruel Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

Northrup's knowledge of what living a free life is like in comparison to the other slaves, many of whom have only known a life in chains, is especially heart breaking in a movie full of sorrow. …

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