As a mum of four young children I generally only get to watch children’s movies these days (which is fun, don’t get me wrong!), at night there are always chores to be done so I rarely have time to sit down for a ‘grown-up’ movie. On the rare occasion that I do have a free night I don’t want to waste my time, I want a good, interesting, thought provoking, heart touching movie that has me glued to the screen from start to finish and that’s exactly what 12 Years a Slave did:
This week 12 Years a Slave has been released on DVD and Blu-ray and after seeing several previews I knew I had to see this triple award-winning movie. 12 Years a Slave is based on the memoir Twelve year a slave (1853) written by Solomon Northup and tells the story of how he, a free black man, was abducted, shipped to another state and sold into slavery.
As he is not able to prove his identity, and therefore his freedom, Solomon (incredibly well played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) now has to work as a slave, enduring the trials and tribulations that many black people had to go through in those days and it is absolutely heartbreaking to see the pain, heartache of so many. I won’t lie, at times it is almost too much to watch the sorrow and despair and I did shed some tears during the movie. On the other hand the hard truth is that this is exactly what life was like for many slaves and it is great history lesson for all of us.
On his journey and while working in the cotton fields Solomon meets other slaves, including the very memorable Patsey, painfully beautifully portrayed by the very talented Lupita Nyong’o. The torture under the hands of the slave master is daily and for some to much to bear, many of the slaves have no hope for a better future but Solomon himself is determined to not give up hope and clings at every opportunity to reach out to his wife so he can get proof of his freedom and be reunited with his family. Many times his hopes are dashed and over time he learns to be quiet and submissive on the surface but deep down he never gives up.
After many years in slavery the appearance of a helpful, forward thinking stranger offers a window of opportunity and Solomon asks him for help in getting the documents needed to regain his freedom. Every single person who watches 12 Years a Slave will feel the relief when authorities come to free Solomon, at the same time there is the overwhelming realisation that so many other slaves could not be saved which is incredibly sad.
Wow, just wow. I am still a bit lost for words which doesn’t happen very often. What a powerful story this is, I don’t think anyone can watch this movie without being changed which is proven by the fact that 12 Years a Slave has taken home 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture. It’s a must watch for all.
12 Years a Slave is available on DVD ($39.95) and Blu-ray ($47.95) at major retailers across Australia.
To find out more about Icon Home Entertainment, to discover the latest releases and to order your favourite titles online visit www.iconmovies.com.au.