Film: 12 Years a Slave

Opened: November 8, 2013

Directed by: Steve McQueen

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt, Adepero Oduye, Garret Dillahunt, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam, Christopher Berry, Chris Chalk, Rob Steinberg, Paul Giamatti, Michael K. Williams, Bryan Batt, Bill Camp, Tom Proctor, Jay Huguley & Storm Reid

The chilling true story of free-man-turned-slave Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), 12 Years a Slave will make you uncomfortable and remind you of the horrors committed in our country’s past.

Working as a musician, free black man Solomon Northup is kidnapped and sold into slavery. His first owner William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) is kind to him but has to sell him to Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) who is mean and ruthless.

In her film debut, Lupita Nyong’o beautifully portrays the hard-working Patsey who is often abused by both Epps and his wife Mary (Sarah Paulson). The intensity between the three is palpable and sickening.

There are varying degrees of racism throughout and each one is biting in its own way.

Final say: It’s the kind of film you’re glad you saw once, but you don’t want to watch again. ★★★★★

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