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12 Years a Slave

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12 Years a Slave is a 2013 British-American epic historical drama film and an adaptation of the eponymous 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free negro who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. He worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for twelve years before his release. Wikipedia

12 Years a Slave Reviews


There are enough scenes of brutal violence in 12 Years a Slave to make your skin crawl...Nicely shot and paced, the film works because it breathes with reality. McQueen drives every scene to the core of its emotions, and their cumulative emotional effect is devastating. It'll leave you shocked, ashamed, angry and overwhelmed.

Raja Sen


Steve McQueen’s relentless motion picture captures it all, from the bodies to the trees, from the pastoral scenes to the twisted mouths. 12 Years A Slave is an admittedly rough watch, but it is a conventional one, an old-fashioned swallow of bitter cinematic tonic for audiences too used to their spoonfuls of silver-screen sugar.

Anupama Chopra


12 Years a Slave is the most devastating experience I’ve had in a movie theater in years. I first saw the film alone in LA and by the end, I was weeping uncontrollably into my popcorn. Salman Khan once said that going to a movie should be like going to a nightclub. If you believe that then don’t step into this one. But if you want to experience a film that is, in equal parts, brilliant and brutal, then head to a theater now.

Mihir Fadnavis


12 Years a Slave is a tough watch. It’s depressing, distressing, gloomy, violent, brilliantly acted and shot. It’s also a little overrated and director Steve McQueen’s least impressive film to date.

Shalini Langer
Indian Express


NEVER one to shy away from human privation, be it in Hunger or Shame, McQueen offers here in one horrific scene the brutality of slavery and the helplessness of blacks against their white masters.

Srijana Mitra Das
Times Of India


Straight away, 12 Years A Slave is not a film for the faint-hearted. It is one of the most haunting, daunting movies made. But despite its unrelenting, tense brutality, you're unable to tear your eyes away. This is what makes 12 Years A Slave a work of disturbing genius.

It isn’t sitting through the physical and verbal abuse scenes, but these are important in the story line. McQueen is superb in his handling of the subject and shows the finesse of someone who understands the deep subtexts of the issue at hand. Despite the dramatic moments and some disturbing scenes, there is an undercurrent of faith and hope running throughout the film. Ejiofor deserves a standing ovation for his performance as each time he says a prayer or hopes the morning will light bring a different morning, we too hope and pray with him.

Rohit Khilnani
India Today


12 Years a Slave is one of the best movies ever made on American slavery. British director Steve McQueen has succeeded in bringing on celluloid the pain of slavery in every single scene of the film. It's an adaptation of the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Must I add that it's very brave of Brad Pitt to produce this one.

Sachin Chatte
The Navhind Times


The film not only has a powerful story but full marks to director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley for adapting it well. If Tarantino’s Django Unchained was an action filled drama, McQueen leans more towards telling a human story. In this endeavor, Sean Bobbits camerawork assists him ably in terms of enhancing the visual aspect.

Director McQueen has nothing new to offer that we aren`t aware of. But it is his unflinching portrayal of Solomon Northup with scenes of brutal realism, dramatic dialogue, cartoonish villains and a plot that highlights the torture which the slaves endured that sets it apart.


...Why watch an overwhelmingly sad film about a man who spends 12 years as a slave in faraway America, back in the 19th century? What does it matter to you and me here in India? Why suffer more than two hours of a cinematic lecture about a culture and history that isn't ours? Because 12 Years A Slave is about something we'd all like to believe we have: the human spirit.

12 Years a Slave is a nightmare, and McQueen intends it to be so. Racism has never before appeared so intimately terrifying on screen. It is a modern classic.

While slavery is a part of American history, the exploitation has a universal resonance. The plight of the slaves in antebellum South though distanced by time and space will find echoes in any amount of subaltern stories and songs from India.

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