Went to See…

12 Years A Slave earlier tonight. I am still feeling numb and will need to take some time to process my thoughts. I will say that the movie – unlike anything I’ve seen before – captures the violence and brutality of the master – slave relationship as well as some of the more subtle and complex aspects of the slave system. The movie’s depiction of white and black women stands front and center in reference to the latter. Go see it.

More later.

7 comments… add one
  • Pat Young Nov 20, 2013 @ 4:29

    One aspect of the film that I had trouble with was Solomon’s status in Saratoga. Was he really that prosperous and accepted? Is the film’s portrayal of a color-blind resort town really accurate?

    • Kevin Levin Nov 20, 2013 @ 4:30

      I had the very same question.

      • Pat Young Nov 20, 2013 @ 4:42

        I read Sue Eakin’s edition of the book and, if I recall correctly, she said that he listed jobs that were reserved for blacks. That alone meant these were likely to be poorly paid.

  • Myra Sampson Nov 19, 2013 @ 20:09

    I saw it last week. I couldn’t help putting Silas in Platt’s shoes as they both had opportunities to excape, however the love to return to their family gave them patience and outweighed the risk of being captured and suffering the consequences because part of the consequences probably would have resulted in them surely never being able to see their loved ones again.

  • JC Nov 19, 2013 @ 19:03

    Numb is exactly how I felt after seeing this a few weekends ago. I went with my cousin and we walked five blocks from the theater in silence before either one of us were composed enough to start talking about what we just watched. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    • Rob in CT Nov 21, 2013 @ 6:13

      That sounds exactly as I felt coming out of Schindler’s List. I was, literally, speechless for something like 15 minutes. This is not a common occurrence with me!

  • Pat Young Nov 19, 2013 @ 18:31

    I find it interesting that the immigrant aspect of the movie is so little remarked upon. Similarly with the Django film, although that was at least noted in most reviews. In both films the agents of freedom are foreign-born.

    Django is freed by the German dentist turned bounty hunter King Schultz played by Christoph Waltz. Schultz is a German Liberal traveling through a land of slavery. Solomon Northup, the subject of Twelve Years a Slave, is helped in securing freedom by Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt), a Canadian immigrant who traveled for twenty years in the United States without ever accepting its system of black bondage.

    Both films illustrate the ability of the immigrant to disentangle the strands of American hypocrisy.

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