12 Years A Slave is an amazing film. Well-acted, well-directed, well-written, it is a testament to the craft of film-making and worthy of the Academy Award for Best Picture. More than that, 12 Years A Slave is an important film. The true story of Solomon Northup – a free man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery over a hundred years ago – forces all of us to see the reality of American slavery stripped of the usual Hollywood tropes of happy slaves singing in the field (see Gone with the Wind) or the white savior (see Amistad, Lincoln).
This film has started a discussion – a discussion that for far too long we as a society have avoided. This film has started a discussion about the brutality of the slave system and the repercussions of that system that we still feel to this day – in part because that system still exists in many parts of the world.
I am not an academic. I am not an expert. However, slavery is a part of my own story and it is a story I feel that I should share in an effort to continue the discussion that 12 Years A Slave began.Read More