Before Steve McQueen brought this story to film, non of us knew the story of Solomon Northup. Personally, I had never heard of the Mr. Northup or his autobiography. Honestly, I didn't even know that free slaves were kidnapped from the north, taken to the south and put into slavery. As an American, I should know something like this. Slavery was a travesty that will never be written right. Today, in 2014, we can still see the residual affects of slavery in our communities (black and white). Yet, we've heard elected officials make callous comparisons to slavery or say things like "black people should to get over slavery." There is even a movement of people who believe that slavery was "not that bad."
Who could forget this????
How do we counter ignorance like this?? We bring these stories to light in an intellectual, dignified and respectful manner. Yes, the moron in the movie probably won't see these movies, but someone else will and could potentially educate him on his ignorance. I'm usually against movies like this, because Hollywood has a weird way of glorifying these types of movies to the point of rewarding an embarrassment. However, 12-Years a Slave was perfectly made, promoted and rewarded.
Our stories need to be told. It shouldn't take a British director by the way of Brad Pitt, to bring such an important American story to the our screens. I don't expect 12-Years a Slave to be the pixie dust that changes everything and gets Hollywood to focus on black film makers, actors and actresses. However, I do expect the conversation to expand and more film makers be given the opportunity to make important historical films with deep subject matters.
Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley
1) Did you watch the 86th Academy Awards last evening? if so, what were your thoughts on the show?
2) Were you surprised that 12-Years a Slave did so well?
3) Were you familiar with Solomon Northup or his autobiography?
4) What does the success of this film mean for American black film makers?