JP Goes To the Movies: A Movie With Impact, 12 Years a Slave

How many Ws will JP give this movie?

How many Ws will JP give this movie?

JP DeFranco '14, Staff Writer

134 minutes

Director: Steven McQueen

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

As I sit flabbergasted at what I just saw, I overhear a conversation between two ladies sitting to my right. “Are you going to sit here and see it again?” One woman asks, ready to go. “No…” the other woman says getting up out of her chair, “Once is enough.”

 12 Years a Slave is a true story about a free African American (Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Saratoga, New York who gets kidnapped and sold as a slave to a southern plantation owner. Director Steve McQueen does an incredible job connecting us with the horrors of slavery through Solomon’s story and with the lives of others that he comes in contact. This movie however is made an instant classic because of the outstanding ensemble performance given by stars and no-name actors a like.

Period pieces can really create a memorable experience when done really well; this movie did that to perfection. With a non-linear narrative, this movie places you into the experience of slavery. This movie gives a different view on slavery as it shows the lives of not only Solomon, but the white plantation owners, their head slave masters, and other slaves. It shows just how every single life was affected by this terrible tragedy.

As the lady sitting next to me in the theater would point out, this movie is not one you need to watch more than once. These very strong themes, brought on by powerful visuals on screen and intense dialog, make this a very impactful movie. This great film reminds me a lot of how Schindler’s List was; incredibly powerful, true recreation of a difficult time in history. This is an outstanding movie with intense images that would stick in a viewer’s mind forever. This is my choice to win the Oscar for Best Picture; I would recommend this movie to everyone as it shows us one of the greatest horrors through which this country ever lived.



4/4 Ws  WWWW