12 Years a Slave – A landmark in United States Cultural History

I saw this film from the point he reached Michael Fassbender’s plantation onward, and it still had such an impact. It has so many layers that it would take a few entries to discuss this film to the fullest extent.

TBC

Without Ritual, Autonomous Negotiations

12 Years a Slave follows the life of Solomon Northup, an African American who lived in the North and who was not enslaved, from directly before he was kidnapped and sold as a runaway until he was reunited with his family.

Films based on true events have to be analyzed or approach in a slightly different way than (more overtly) fictional films. In the case of 12 Years a Slave, we have over a decade of time condensed into slightly more than two hours. As a result, everything is highly selective. Rather than looking at what is actually true, we have to examine what we are shown and why.

Two, somewhat overlapping, key questions, then, should guide our initial analysis.

First, does the film speak to historical truths, as supported by evidence? Are scenes realistic based on the film’s time and place?

Second, does the film legitimately force viewers…

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