Criticism of 12 Years a Slave

Topics: 2005 albums, Blackbirding, Film Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: December 12, 2013
Connor Walker
Holsinger and Barton
American Studies
24 November 2013
Extra Credit: 12 Years a Slave
Upon viewing the film, my first reaction was that I expected what I saw. I always knew that slavery was a horrible thing and I think that the film did a fantastic job of portraying the cruelty of slavery. There were some parts of the film that I did not expect however. For instance, in beginning where Solomon was essentially captured into slavery, I had mentally pictured it differently. I had always pictured the people taking him out back and knocking him unconscious, not him being knocked out by liquor only to wake up in a cell. The movie definitely did a good job of helping me understand why and how he was captured. I was also amazed at how it seemed that the people ignored the fact that he was educated, clearly for him to learn violin as well as he did he must’ve been educated, but they ignored this. I think that the most gut wrenching scene for me was near the end of the movie. That was when Patsey was tied to the post and flogged by Solomon, that really spoke to me because of how not only Patsey had to suffer but Solomon had to as well. Also, when they were cleaning Patsey’s wounds, it was the first time that I had ever seen an accurate visual representation of what whipping did. I had always thought that it hurt but for me I had never imagined it doing as much damage as it did.

For me, the purpose of why McQueen made this movie was to show people what slavery was actually like. I think that he was tired of viewing all of the past inaccuracies about slavery and was attempting to correct some of them. He believed that Hollywood was not doing a good job of portraying what slavery was like, he believed that the story of this individual, and individual who was free and then forced into slavery, would enlighten the public. McQueen is right in believing that Hollywood had hitherto done a poor job of explaining what slavery was. The skirted around the...
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