What do you say about a film that unrelentingly exposes the horrors of slavery? How do we even begin to talk about such a deep and painful scar in our nations history? Or even look at characters who see African Americans as property that they own instead of people? 12 Years A Slave holds no punches, like Schindler’s List the film refuses to turn away from violence for the audiences convince. It beats you, rapes you, degrades you, mocks you, and categorizes you as cheap.
The film tells the story of a free man, a musician, who is kidnapped and sold to the slave auction in the south. Solomon Northup, the musician, spends 12 hell, nightmarish years with two monsters for slave owners. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of kind but cruel slave owner who looks at his slaves as pets rather than human beings. While Michael Fassbender plays the role of sociopath, who outright abuses the slaves and makes their existence on his concentration camp a living nightmare. 12 Years A Slave is directed by Steve McQueen, a British filmmaker who will win an Oscar for this film.
Chiwetel Ejiofor gives the performance of his career as Solomon Northup. John Ridley’s masterful screenplay places you in a true nightmare, and gives you a story that will haunt you long after the film’s credits roll. The film exposes the savagery and brutality of slavery. It is a true must see and worthy of every praise, awards and notoriety it receives.
My pick for Best Picture of the year.