12 Years A Slave (2013)
IMDb rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%Watch full movie now
Director Steven R McQueen breathes life into the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a freeman sold into slavery in 1800s New York. It’s terrifyingly graphic and cruel, the stuff nightmares are made of, but it’s a real man’s story – and one of hope.
The whipping scene alone will have you covering your eyes as lash after lash curls through the air and rips through slave skin at the hand of their demonic master. The sexual assaults, the physical beatings… they hammer home the horrors of the slave trade.
Everyone should watch this award-winning movie to get an inkling of what it was like being owned, being black in America and being “property”. Chiwetel says that “To not show it (slavery) as explicitly (as we can) would be a disservice to [Northup] and his family. What’s the point in telling the story if we couldn’t tell the story?” Co-star Michael Fassbender, who plays slave owner Edwin Epps, adds, “(Documented history) left us with no choice. What’s tricky is when people try to sugarcoat it. It is what it is.”
You may not know: Michael Fassbender didn’t brush his teeth for a week, nor did he shower to make Lupita Nyong’o’s (Patsey) looks of disgust on her face more realistic.