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12 YEARS A SLAVE

12 YEARS A SLAVE

“More inhumanity has been done (to man) by man himself, than any other of nature’s causes.” (Samuel von Pufendore, 1632-94).

Experiencing, (it is a visceral, torturous, emotional rack) Steve McQueen’s exceptionally intelligent “12 Years a Slave”, the true story of Solomon Northup’s horrific betrayal; he is a refined, educated violinist, with a wife and two children, living respectfully in Saratoga Springs, New York, 1841; he is also black, and wickedly tricked, stripped of his humanity, and sold into slavery.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as “Solomon” is brilliantly, intensely quiet; he survives by camouflaging his intellect; the film shines with its insightful pairing of those born into slavery, relegated to animal status, wills stymied from birth, versus Solomon’s inherent acumen; his predicament, an unparalleled nightmare, garnishes awe, as he protects his integrity while enduring iniquitous, diabolical circumstances.

Michael Fassbender, a favorite of McQueen’s (“Hunger”, “Shame”) gives a genuine, complex performance as “Master Epps”:  perpetually inebriated, slavishly vicious and totally baffled by his love for “Patsey” (Lupita Nyong’o, is stunningly remarkable as the beautiful, astronomically abused slave); Epps’s wife (vibrantly, vindictively depicted by Sarah Paulson) is shamed and stunned (also shunned) by her husband’s choice of a slave, over her; her immoral retribution results in one of the most traumatic scenes in the film.

Brad Pitt (also a producer) gives a cameo performance as a carpenter from Canada; he speaks with the tongue and cadence of a preacher, savior; orchestrates inevitability . Throughout the movie, the “Masters” preach, chronicle Biblical passages, parables, supporting “slavery” and the penance extracted for misbehaving; an agonizing anomaly, defying rationality.

Slavery is a stain, an ugly, egregious blot on our narrative, a thousand years cannot bleach its degradation; “12 Years A Slave” is a history lesson, showing the good and nefarious, resonating in varying degrees, in all individuals, regardless of their hue. It is enlightening, compelling, a staggering example of one man’s triumph over an atrocity practiced by thousands; demolished by a war lasting four years, and the senseless deaths of close to a million soldiers and civilians. Solomon Northup’s final years are shrouded in mystery; his heroic legacy, enshrined in glory, will remain everlasting.

FIVE STARS!!!!!

For Now………Peneflix

“More inhumanity has been done (to man) by man himself, than any other of nature’s causes.” (Samuel von Pufendore, 1632-94). Experiencing, (it is a visceral, torturous, emotional rack) Steve McQueen’s exceptionally intelligent “12 Years a Slave”, the true story of Solomon Northup’s horrific betrayal; he is a refined, educated violinist, with a wife and two …

Review Overview

Rating

User Rating: 4.8 ( 1 votes)
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4 comments

  1. Your 5 stars are very well deserved, Peneflix! This is a superb film and portrayal of slavery in this country.

  2. This is ONE powerful film; I was so involved emotionally that I could not even cry! Applause, applause to all for the writing, filming, sensitivity, acting and history. WOW!!!

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