12 Years A Slave Review:
I think what made 12 Years A Slave such a fantastic movie is that it did showed the many ways Slavery is painted in American culture. Some describe Slave owners as taking “good care” of their property and that they wouldn’t mistreat them. Others paint them as brutal monsters that would rape and torture their slaves on a regular basis. Well both were true and this film does an amazing job to show that even the Slave owners that treated their Slaves well… were JUST as guilty of their crime. They just hid it better and blamed it on the culture at the time.
The director Steve McQueen did such a fantastic job. One moment really blew me away. While Benedict Cumberbatch’s character leads their Sunday bible reading you have this horrible racist song being sung by Paul Dano over top the prayer. Later during another reading you have a slave woman who’s children were taken from her crying over the service. This scene perfectly showed that no matter what kindness the slave owner showed, they were still prisoners with no freedom. They were still slaves.
Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance was perfect. He was the best person cast for this role. Benedict Cumberbatch was solid. Michael Fassbender was easily the most evil person you’ll ever see on film. Brad Pitt is barely in it and anyone could have played his role.
This is a film that has been stuck in my mind for the last few days. It’s not an easy watch but definitely something you should see. Also look for Hunger and Shame by Steve McQueen. To other fantastic films!