(Warning possible spoiler alerts)
12 Years A Slave is the harrowing but great film that tells the story of Solomon Northup a free-born African-American man who is drugged and sold into slavery under the false pretence that he is a runaway slave.
The film is based on the book Northup wrote after his experiences which tells the story of his life from being drugged, sold to a slave trader and sold into 12 years of slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor (before seen on TV drama Dancing on the edge) who played Solomon portrayed the determination and loyalty of Solomon’s nature in scenes that included him attempting to protect another female slave ‘Patsey’. The film also starred other big name actors including; Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Brad Pitt (Fight Club) .
Grim scenes of whipping, hanging and abuse are shown throughout the film to make uncomfortable but brutally honest viewing.
Although the film does have some happier scenes of Solomon and his family the horror of the stories reality really hits the audience hard.
Despite the horrors and hardship Solomon lives through he never gives up hope that eventually the truth will come out and he will be a free man once again. Finally Solomon manages to get a white man working on the plantation with him to send a letter to his family explaining what has happened.
The most touching and poignant scene is the final one where Solomon is reunited with his family. Having been gone for 12 Years Solomon has missed his children growing up and even has a grandson (who is also called Solomon). The film ends on the beautiful scene of Solomon in a group hug with his whole family.
What I admire about Solomon Northup is his strength to carry through such dreadful and painful years. I also admire the bravery it must have taken for him to write about his experiences in his book ’12 Years A Slave’.