in about 100 words or less
UK / US 134m, Colour
Director: Steven McQueen; Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard
12 Years a Slave is based on the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery where he laboured from 1841, until the time of his release. Working on plantations as “Platt”, the name of a runaway slave from Georgia, Northrup finally found his salvation by convincing a visiting tradesman to alert his family of his situation. As with other films which depict man’s abject cruelty, this is a difficult film to watch, and while there is nothing which has not been stated on film before, it is one worth seeing for its many fine performances (Klaus Ming February 2014).