12 Years a Slave Reviews
12 Years a Slave (2013) is a harrowing account of a man wrongly kidnapped and forced into slavery. It is a touching story that will engage you until the end, infuriate you at the injustice he faced, and enrage you at the general apathy or purposeful cruelty of white people. 12 Years a Slave is more than a film, it is an important historical depiction of an often forgotten aspect of slavery's atrocities. You will learn something while also being enthralled at the monstrous way white men and women treat black people.
Steve McQueen's direction is fascinating. He does not hold your hand and explain each detail, but rather forces you to watch it all unfold as it dawns on you what has happened. McQueen uses intimate close up shots to display the agony and despair slaves felt with a sincere tastefulness without showing too much violence to reach beyond the pale. This is not torture as entertainment, but a recreation of real events to educate general audiences about the illegal selling of slaves by capturing free men and women. McQueen takes the natural surroundings to make real settings, period accurate clothing and accents, and detailed cinematography to optimal empathy. After all, 12 Years a Slave is essentially about empathy. We need to see these crimes in order to understand the depths of depravity that humanity is capable of without good people to stand against their racism.
Among all the excellent acting in 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o give all time brilliant and passionate performances. They make you feel such profound sadness while watching 12 Years a Slave. They deserve all the praise they have received for their respective role.
Overall, 12 Years a Slave will be looked back as an upsetting classic of cinema. Yes, it is hard to watch. Yes, it is disturbing. Yes, it is important. Finally, yes, it is true. Give 12 Years a Slave your time.