<i>12 Years a Slave</i>. 2013. USA. Directed by Steve McQueen. © Regency Enterprises. Courtesy Regency Enterprises
  • 12 Years a Slave

    2013. USA/UK. Steve McQueen. 133 min.

Introduction by Producer Dede Gardner

Sunday, November 17, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

  • 12 Years a Slave

    2013. USA/UK. Directed by Steve McQueen. “Southern trees bear strange fruit…”. So begins Abel Meeropol's 1930s poem (later made famous by a Billie Holiday song) about the horrors of lynching. As with most artistic output that addresses American slavery and its legacy, the truth is wrapped in metaphor and the gaze is indirect, as if to protect the audience from images deemed too brutal to be looked upon directly. Director McQueen asks us to face the past without flinching or looking away, in order to recognize these unconscionable evils as they infected individuals and the larger society. The fact that he also manages to infuse his film with stunning imagery and set pieces that recall his exquisite gallery installations makes 12 Years a Slave a masterpiece. Based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free man forced into slavery, and featuring devastating performances by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, this film adds a critical new chapter to cinema’s investigation of American history and identity. Courtesy of Fox Searchlight. 133 min.

In the Film exhibition The Contenders 2013

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