The Academy Award winning film “Twelve Years a Slave” tells the remarkable true story of Solomon Northup. Played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Solomon was born a free man in upstate New York and sold into slavery after being kidnapped.
The film depicts a wide range of aspects of humanity. It also serves as a testament to the depravity that human beings are capable of. The stark realism with which Solomon’s journey is depicted is both shocking and disturbing, by showing the cruelty that one must possess in order to own a slaven. A particularly horrific scene was when Solomon was left hanging from a tree, a noose around his neck, and just enough space between his feet and the ground so that he had to stand on his tiptoes to avoid strangulation. The unwavering honesty with which this scene was depicted was a feat in filmmaking and a testament to the commitment director Steve McQueen had to truthfully narrating Solomon’s story and the story of slaves like him.
Lupita Niongo’s performance as Patsy was simply astounding. She fully embodied her character with the utmost dedication and delivered one of the most committed performances I have ever seen. Michael Fast bender was equally impressive as Epps, the plantation owner. He convincingly portrayed the complexities of human cruelty. Of course Ejiofor’s performance was a standout. He unapologetically explored his characters pain and struggle to remain an individual. “Twelve Years a Slave” offers an honest and significant depiction of slavery and how it affected those forced into it. Mcqueen’s conviction throughout the film makes it impactful and memorable.