12 Years A Slave
Cert 15, 2h 13m
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano
Doors and bar open 7:00pm, Film 7:30, Supper £6 9:50pm
Latest bookings 1200 noon Sunday 15th June – pay at the door
or phone: Lucy Matthews 01725 518695
Very occasionally a film comes along which is universally acclaimed and elevated to the status of a ‘must see movie’; 12 Years a Slave is such a film with no fewer than 142 major awards across the World including the 2013 ‘Oscar’ for the best film, the first time that this prize, considered by the film industry to be its highest accolade, has been awarded a black film maker, the British Steve Mc Queen CBE.
The film is based on the autobiographical book by Solomon Northup, played in the film by the great British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (from South London, Nigerian father, went to Dulwich College). In the antebellum United States Solomon, from New York, is abducted by bounty hunters and sold into slavery.
Turner prize winning McQueen casts his painterly eye over both the beautiful scenery of Louisiana and the abject and cruel suffering of the yet-to-be-freed slaves in the Deep South. For the viewer this is sometimes almost unbearable. Michael Fassbender (last seen in Rockbourne as a brooding but very sexy Mr. Rochester) plays the relentlessly cruel slave owner with malevolent brilliance. A chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt, whose support as an actor and co-producer, helped the film to get financed) ends the twelve year ordeal.
Although the film is sometimes hard to watch it is also filled with unexpected kindness, love, and heroic bravery as Solomon struggles to keep his dignity. As an educated and intelligent man he was later able to recount his experience in a notable and widely read autobiography.
Not by any means a film of light entertainment, ‘12 Years a Slave’ is a very rewarding experience, in which, we feel, you will be very glad that you participated.