Monday, November 4, 2013

12 Years a Slave....A Brutal, Heartbreaking History Lesson

Soooo, the hype around the movie 12 Years a Slave is real.  In terms of publicity and marketing, Fox Searchlight Films has done a great job.  No--scratch that.  They've done an excellent job!

Everyone's talking about it, tweeting about it and encouraging their friends & family to see it.
Well, guess what I did this past weekend?

First things first!  Let me just say that the movie is a unique combination of exceptional talent, riveting storytelling and historic relevance.  Although there have been many movies that depicted slavery, Director Steve McQueen's
12 Years a Slave tells the story from a different angle.  It's a compelling narrative of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man and violinist from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery.  

It's based on a true story, and it's heartbreaking and disturbing.  Brutal and uncomfortable.  Super emotional.  But it is a movie about slavery, so I expected that.  And it's not just a story of survival.  It's about the will to live - despite horrific circumstances and broken spirits.     

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup 

Do I think you should see 12 Years a Slave?  Sure. 

One of my Facebook friends actually challenged black people to muster up "courage" and go see it.  Hmmmm.... Instead of her asking black people to see the film, I wish she would have encouraged "non-blacks" to see it.  

Movies like this represent an ugly part of history that most people want to ignore or downplay.  But it is real.  It did happen.  And generations later, people are still hurting.  This is not just a movie for black people.  It's a historical account of the the life of a slave.  A history lesson.    

Personally, 12 Years a Slave really made me think.  Really think....  Especially the line in the movie where a male slave says to Solomon, "If you want to survive, do and say as little as possible."  Wooo.  

Slavery was abolished many years ago, but a lot of people's mindsets (black & white) have not....  Pun intended.  #FoodForThought

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