12 Years a Slave

12 Years A Slave - In a period of exceptional films released within the last 6 months. I can honestly say that this is better than all of them. Gravity possibly was a better cinematic experience but on the film alone this takes the biscuit. Go watch it.: There is much to be learned in the movie 12 Years a Slave. The 2013 film based on the 1853 bestseller by Solomon Northup opens the doors to the injustice of slavery. Originally, a book published on January 4, 1853, the book follows Solomon Northup who is a free man kidnapped into slavery.

The movie follows closely to the story with the trials that Solomon Northup encounters. Opening with showing us a talented fiddler who is a married father of two takes on a job. The two men who offer the job drug, take his free papers (he needed these due to Solomon being in Washington D.C. where slavery was legal in 1841, and send him off to slave traders.

After this Solomon witnesses the terror of slavery. With all of his freedom taken away he is bought to a plantation owner with a mother who gets separated from her children. His work on the plantation is good and his master respects him for it. Yet, his master fails him when Solomon tells him the truth about where he is from.

Sent off to a cruel owner, we are introduced to a young girl named Patsy who suffers everyday. Being raped by her master and heavily mistreated by her mistress, Patsy begs Solomon to kill her. But, he refuses. Patsy’s suffering is heartbreaking. A girl who has done nothing wrong suffering due to the injustice of slavery reveals crimes against humans that the owners get away with.

Eventually, a good man named Bass, hears Solomon’s story. Following through with a promise, Solomon is freed when he proves who he is when a sheriff comes and interrogates him. A friend who is a shopkeeper comes down with him and embraces Solomon taking him with him. Back home in New York, Solomon is reunited with his family.

In the epilogue, we learn that Solomon never received the justice he deserved. The men who kidnapped him never get punished because the law back then prohibited a black man from testifying a against a white man. However, Solomon becomes an ardent abolitionist while sharing the ordeal he had for twelve years.


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