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12 Years a Slave

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By Moira Sullivan



Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is one of the most brutal narratives on slavery that has been made to date. The 44-year-old British filmmaker has been turning out exceptional provocative films such as Shame on sex additionand Hunger onthe IRA leader Bobby Sands who conducted a hunger strike and died in prison.
12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, a free black man who is abducted in Washington DC in 1841 on a short trip from his home in Saratoga Springs New York. The purpose isto accompany musicians on his violin but he is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south leaving behind his wife and children. During these long hard years, this educated man who was an engineer has to endure the worst kind of treatment where he is beaten for being too clever and is forced to dumb down to prevent further abuse. This film makes you realize how racism continues and today’s modern atrocities mirror the early history of slavery.
Solomon is first sold to the…