Coming Soon: Twelve Years A Slave
Late last year, a film called Django Unchained premiered to much fanfare, criticism, and controversy. The controversies included the use – or overuse – of the N-word, and the fact that a
pretty damn good comedy was made out of the horrific atrocities of slavery. But another stood out: why was our story told by another white guy? Why won’t Hollywood bankroll and promote a film by a black director all the hoops and hurdles Alex Haley had to jump to make Roots notwithstanding?
Apparently the answer is, it will. And a serious, complex portrait of a free man who underwent the dehumanizing agonies of slavery (or basically, the anti-Django) was the result.
In Steve McQueen‘s (yes, a black director) Twelve Years A Slave, based on the autobiographical book by the same title written by Solomon Northrup, the blood and flash are gone. The quips are replaced by the genuine dialogue of a real person who experienced these events over a century and a half ago.
By the way, the book is in the public domain and free copies are available all over the web.
Northrup was born a free man in upstate New York, and later tricked and sold into slavery down south. As the title suggests, he spends twelve years as a slave before he is finally rescued.
This particular film features an all-star cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor (one of the most underrated actors in all of Hollywood) who plays Northrup, Michael Fassbender as cruel plantation owner Edwin Epps, the lovable Quevenzhané Wallis as Northrup’s daughter, and also features Brad Pitt and Alfre Woodard.
We’ve laughed at Django. Now let’s take a much more serious and personal look at slavery and, as we do, take note of the impact it still has on our society some 150 years later.
The film is slated for an October 18 release.