Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave

Steve McQueen has managed to produce the incredible drama movie, showing slavery in detail, truthfully and even brutally.12 years of slavery, 12 years of struggle, 12 years of faith and humiliation, misunderstanding and fear. However, time flows differently here, somehow elusively. Solomon Northup, a free man, who was cunningly deceived, became a victim of circumstances and was sold into slavery. He was struggling with a system that broke thousands of people like him: he did not forget his real name, he remembered his family, and what is more important, he did not lose hope.

First of all, the film is interesting not only for its political component even if take into consideration that it is a true story. McQueen does not care about the struggle against slavery in general. Psychological issues of a man who became a slave mistakenly are much more interesting for him. Moving from one host to another, slaves lived every day in anticipation of the new punishment and torment; they were overloaded with work dreaming of escape or even death. Regardless of the host (no matter whether it was a good-looking personage of Cumberbatch who shamelessly sold his slaves because of debts, or a tyrant, brilliantly portrayed by Fassbender), the situation was always the same. The treatment of slaves remained cruel; they experienced constan humiliation and had the status of things just because of a different skin color.

Nevertheless McQueen does not build an entire movie on the scheme: white people are bad and dark-skinned are good. He is trying to show that there is nothing in the world more cruel and immoral than the era of slavery.

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The manner of shooting complements the story: staccato editing, shooting people close-up, beautiful scenery, which set off “black” characters’ lives, and the music are great.

The film is about the ideology which emphasizes that enslavement lives in the very nature of some people and can put the entire nation on the knees. Cynicism and cruelty are the foundations of any slavery. Blacks are slaves, but they support this terrible system by their passivity and disunity. The owners are also slaves who depend on slave labor. They are slaves of their prejudices, according to which even relatively decent people are forced to live under inhuman laws.

The actor Chiwetel Ejiofor excellently conveyed suffering and fear, disbelief and hope, sometimes only with his eyes.  Being a victim of humiliation, he managed to save himself, but changed dramatically. When the chance to be free, expected for many years, appeared on the horizon, his face showed all the emottions – disbelief that it finally happened and justice that finally prevailed.

This is the story of the deceived person who had lost his freedom. However, this film is not just about one person; it is the story of several generations of humiliated people.

Michael Fassbender is an amazing actor; all the characters he portrayed are truly interesting. In this film, Fassbender impresses the viewers with his lively and quality play. His character is evil, rather gloomy and even repulsive. Fassbender has played the most impressive villain, showing a madman, for whom slaves are not only the property, but toys as well.

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The musical line is gorgeous. This time Hans Zimmer participated in the creation of this movie. Moreover, a lot of nice motives sound in the film.

In conclusion, it should be noted that usually the films about slavery emphasize a riot or fight. However, Steve McQueen has made a movie about the nature of slavery. There are no epic scenes and heroic pathos. Instead, the authors immerse the viewer in a frighteningly real atmosphere of genuine human suffering. Twelve Years a Slave is a talented work raising an important philosophical issue; this is the life story of one man, but it is extremely topical for all mankind.

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