By Michael B. Murphy
Undoubtedly the most evocative and important film of 2013, the Steve McQueen directed “12 Years a Slave” deserves all the accolades it has received thus far. Based on the memoir of the same name, “12 Years a Slave” tells the story of Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) – a pre-Civil War black man who 6nds himself kidnapped and forced into slavery.
Unflinching in it’s depiction of the grotesque treatment of enslaved African Americans, “12 Years a Slave” is a movie that for two hours hits you on a primal, visceral level and haunts you far after the film has ended. Slavery has been discussed in 6lm before but never with such unabashed honesty. The cast and crew of “12 Years a Slave” should be applauded for the courage they exhibited by never glossing over the monstrous violence and misery that our nation inflicted upon its people of color.
Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o is a revelation as the quiet yet brave Patsy. Nyong’o absolutely deserves the Best Supporting Actress award that she has been nominated for and ditto for Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Fassbender, whose performance as the sinister slave owner Epps will make your skin crawl.
“12 Years a Slave” should be required viewing for all Americans, especially those who would attempt to downplay or excuse the horrors that had once occurred on American soil.