12 Years A Slave Film Analysis

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12 Years a Slave was a brilliant cinematic adaptation of the autobiography of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film chronicles the experiences of Solomon Northup of Saratoga, NY, who after a series of unfortunate events, finds himself in the trap of slavery. While most films today thrive on providing a positive emotional response from their audience, 12 Years a Slave is a deviation from the norm in that it elicits none of these responses from its audience. The dark, grim matter of kidnapping and slavery is a delicate subject to work with in Hollywood, and many directors would have censored or watered down this content. However, Steve McQueen does a fantastic job portraying the unrelenting brutality of slavery, the silent stoicism of Northup as everything he knows is taken from him, and the learned helplessness of the other slaves. Early in the movie, the tone of almost unrelenting brutality is set. In the hands of many directors today (Michael Bay and Quentin Tarantino come to mind), violence becomes almost cartoonish and serves to desensitize the audienc...
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