12 Years a Slave (rated 15 – for a reason)
These are my immediate thoughts – there may be more to come…
First to say, this film is maybe not for the faint-hearted, but if you aware of what happened to slaves, it will come as no surprise what happened. I would put the gruesomeness level down to similar as The Passion of the Christ.
Much has been said, and probably will continue to be said about this film, by those more eloquent, or who know what they are talking about, than me. My initial reactions as the film drew to a close are two-fold:
- The greatest disservice we can do is to see this as history and assume that there is no longer any slavery. There is plenty of slavery around today, including here in the UK. Please do not think we can rest on our laurels. If this film does anything, as well as educate about the atrocious past, it must make us look at the world we live in today – and respond.
- Solomon was a free man. He had that to keep him going. If only he could get his papers, he could prove himself free, and be released. What about those who do not have that privilege? What hope do they have? What are we going to do about it? Solomon was able to find someone who could intercede on his behalf. What about those who have no one? Who is going to intercede for them?
The reaction to this film must not be “how awful” and to carry on with our lives. (Interestingly, someone in the cinema actually shouted out at the slave masters wife, sharing exactly what they thought about her.) The reaction must be – what can I do about this, here and now?
AND TO DO SOMETHING
Acquaint ourselves with the facts and respond.