12 Years a Slave is an extremely powerful movie. It doesn’t let you off the hook in showing you what slavery was like. And you have to keep in mind that the protagonist, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was probably better off than the average slave. He had some opportunities because of his education and he didn’t die as a slave. But despite that relatively narrow focus, the movie manages to give a realistic portrayal of slavery. I found the film very impressive, especially the way it was directed by Steve McQueen. I had seen Shame and was impressed by it too but I didn’t feel an emotional connection to it. 12 Years a Slave goes straight to the heart by its sheer force of filmmaking and I appreciate that a lot. Every aspect of the movie – the acting, the music, the script, the cinematography, the editing, the production and costume design, the sound design – is not just a showcase for talent but actually increases the emotional impact of the movie.
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