Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Twelve Years a Slave

Last night I sat in a small repertoire theater
with about 15 strangers in utter silence.
The sound of breathing and occasional sniffling from the people around me provided an odd sense of relief.
No, it wasn't distracting.
I think it grounded me with a touch of reality that led me safely back to the "now".

Because trust me, Twelve Years a Slave is raw, challenging and troublesome.

There is no dramatic relief offered through the inclusion of a love story or sweet friendship.
Rather there is intensity and harsh scenes that are uncomfortably engaging.

And then there is a particular moment when all you see on the screen
is the face of Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays the role of Solomon Northrup,
and you feel your whole self drawn in and absorbed by a depth of despair that he portrays so effectively.

And perhaps the strangest and most unfamiliar experience for me during this film
was a sense of silence that took over at times and forced me,
the viewer
to think,
and fill in the silence with the reality of this cruel period in history.

I am not a movie critic.
The fact is we don't have access to films in English and I am not a big fan of dubbing so I usually wait for Netflix or my local video store to provide me with their latest release.

But, this film, really hit me.
So kudos to all involved.

I would love to hear what you thought if you saw it.
Perhaps you did not have the same experience?


  1. We loved the film in a different way than we usually love movies. It was difficult to watch, intense at times, but we walked away THINKING and that is important. As a former history teacher, I think that all US History students should see the movie (that won't happen due to the violence, nudity and language) to understand a horrendous part of our historyl

    1. Oh I could not agree more. It was a very gutsy film in my opinion. No sugar-coating, no dramatic relief for the audience, just the story, raw and real.

  2. I rarely go to the cinema and wouldn't normally choose to go and see something that harrowing, but you've been a great film critic and made it sound like a must see. Plus, I understand that Chiwetel Ejiofor is amazing in the lead, and I think both Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbach are fantastic actors.
    I still might wait for the dvd though !

  3. I have heard some about this movie and how wonderfully it is done. We don't go to movies but might purchase this one as I think I'd like to see it. I think I would. Thank you for sharing your opinion of it. I'm sure we'd share the same opinion too. Have you read "The Book of Negros"? It would be wonderful made into a movie too. I forget the author and don't have the book now but I won't ever forget it. It was 'raw and real' too.

  4. I don't know if I could watch the film. I seem to be too affected by scenes of violence now and can't get the images out of my head. Still, it's important that this kind of film continues to be made so we stay vigilant about opposing any kind of oppression. Good review!

  5. I rarely go to the movies now, because I'm saving money for the kitchen. But the fims seems worth seeing... But anyway, if it's really moving, Id' rather see it at home than surrounded by strangers.

  6. I think you are right, mitchy matchy in the bedroom does make it more calm and inviting than any other room needs to be. I am more so in my bedroom than anywhere else in my house for that very reason I think. I look forward to seeing your fabric and also what you do with it.
    Have a good week.


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