12_Years_A_Slave12 Years A Slave documents the ordeal of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a free Black man from Saratoga Springs, New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.

Solomon’s story represents the experience of every slave who was brought to the United States in chains, born into bondage, separated from family, beaten, sold and raped. Yet, the fact that Solomon had always been a free man serves as a stark illustration of the complete injustice and insanity of enslavement because he has lived as a productive citizen who is the equal, if not better, of any man.

Solomon, a highly intelligent and educated man who plays the violin is forced to hide the fact that he can read and write in order to survive as it’s forbidden for slaves to have such knowledge. Determined to be reunited with his wife and two children Solomon resolves to do whatever it takes to stay alive and refuses to give into desperation despite the relentless cruelty of his circumstances.

The brutality on screen in 12 Years A Slave seems unreal, at times so harsh that it’s difficult to process or comprehend. Yet this is the violent history of our country that still resonates today. Continue reading »

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