12 Years a Slave

Edline Francois

Staff Writer, Eissey Campus


12 Years a Slave was an extremely powerful film. Director Steve McQueen and his cast made an impact on the world as a result of this film.


The film highlights a story about a man named Solomon Northup played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Northup, was a freeman who resided in Saratoga, New York with his wife and two children. He was a well-known fiddler and was favored amongst his peers, who was swindled by two men, and sold him into slavery.


Although there are many films about slavery, this film differs from most because the protagonist of McQueen’s picture was an intelligent man. Moreover, he engineered a character that was relatable to his modern audience. Northup knew how to formulate different perspectives to create a logical decision. Above all, he was a literate African American man.


Despite Northup’s adversity, his character exemplified a resilient spirit. Although he was physically broken, he would not allow his circumstances to siphon his mental strength.


This film gained 151 award nominations, and of those it won 104 awards. Needless to say, the performance from the cast was superb. One of the most honorable mentions was Lupita Nyong’o who played Patsey, and Ejifor. They were nominated for multiple awards for their phenomenal performance in this film.


12 Years a Slave is receiving such great recognition because it is appealing to an audience who is in Solomon Northup’s position. College students are taught to think critically, reason analytically, and communicate effectively, which is what Northup did. Mr. McQueen placed his audience into Northup’s shoes. That is the key attribute that made this film so outstanding.

All in all, this film was worth seeing. This film has made its audience question their values and change their perspective on life in general.