12 Years A Slave – Movie Review

23 thoughts on “12 Years A Slave – Movie Review”

  1. I knew this movie would be intense. There is no horror as the true stories of slavery. Many don’t want to know, but it’s important that we all understand our history. Thanks for the review.


    1. You should read the book, “On the Court-House Lawn” by Sherrilyn A. Ifill about the Jim Crow era hangings, which were in almost every state and less than a century ago. “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander tells about what is happening now after those histories. Understanding our history helps to understand the world, people around us, and even ourselves.


  2. I must say, this is a pretty hard pill to swallow, and for that, I give it plenty of respect and credit. However, I couldn’t help feeling like there may have been a better way to tell this story without seeming it like it just dragged on from one horrific scene of torture to another. That said, it’s definitely not forgettable. Good review.


    1. @CMrok93: I feel the same way. I do think it is a very important movie, especially for Americans to deal with this part of their history. Yet, I also thought there were just too many of these horrid scenes. Plus, I thought not all of them would have had to be so long to get the point across. It just made me look away and try to distance me from it.
      I agree with you, @Lucas, concerning the two scenes you write about. The hanging scene surely is a masterpiece in cinematography and directing – you just felt more and more uncomfortable watching it. The other scene where Solomon is forced to whip Patsey is one scene which actually made me cry, whereas what happened in the rest of the movie appalled me but, for some reason, did not hit me emotionally.


  3. Great review. I’ve heard this sentiment in a lot of my friends’ reviews, and it makes me want to see it but I’m wary because I know I’m a bit weak. I can’t even handle Tarantino films ^^;


  4. Total sensory overload. I completely agree. You can’t look away but man oh man do you want to. It’s weird to think how sitting in a dark room getting pummeled by pictures and sounds can make one so utterly exhausted. That said, great film.


  5. Very good review and a personal account of movie’s impressions. I watched it too and thanks for reading my commentary on the slavery issue and debate that the film has reignited. People need to be reminded of this part of history which is not only Americans history, it is also British history and European. The slave trade was initiated by Europeans, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch then the English got involved and as it has been exposed many of our cities and notorious families wealth was made from the slave trade and exploitation. We need to recognise that as part of our own history, something we/our country has benefited from.
    I strongly believe that past errors need to be remedied and those affected need to be supported, by offering recognition of their role, economic contribution and solutions to improve life chances of those left in the margins. Discrimination and psychological damage can affect generations of people. When you look at Patsey and how she was broken as a human being, what would be the chances of her children to be strong and able to lead a normal life? What about their children, who may have eventually become free men and women. History goes down through our lives and the consequences of slavery are still around us, here in Britain, in many regards. Laura


  6. One thing that makes this movie so powerful is that it is based on a memoir. There is a wealth of first hand documentation on this era. This makes it in some ways more believable and powerful than a fictitious story of ‘wishful thinking’. Another aspect of this struggle is the courage of the Underground Railroad. I am posting a story I wrote from the memoirs of Josiah Henson – called Run to Freedom. So many amazing stories of faith and courage against seemingly insurmountable odds.


  7. 12 Years a Slave was probably the most influential and effective film I have ever seen. It’s emotionally wrenching. Just reading your description of the two scenes you will never forget made me cringe just remembering. A much-needed film that speaks truth to our history in America. Great review!


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