I watched the movie 12 Years a Slave. The movies is set a few years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup, a freed black man from New York, is kidnapped and sold as slave in the Southern region of the country.
Northup is treated to the brutally and crulely by one malicious owner, however, he also finds unexpected kindness from a different owner, as he struggles continually to survive and keep some of his dignity. Then in the twelfth year of the disheartening and demoralizing situation, a serendipitous encounter with an abolitionist changes Northup’s life forever. The movie was very moving, enlightening and educational.
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I thought that the cinematography in 12 Years a Slave was exceptional and, all the people acting in the movie did a great job. The movie 12 Years a Slave does an amazing job of depicting how brutal and degrading slavery really was. I think that most of the movie is historically accurate and there aren’t very many historically inaccurate scene. The most inaccurate scene that sticks out to me is the scene in the film, is shortly after Northup is kidnapped, he is on a ship headed south.
A sailor enters the below deck area where the slaves are being held and is about to rape one of the slave women, suddenly a male slave stops this from happening by pushing the sailor away. The sailor without stopping or thinking stabs and kills the male slave. This seems unlikely, because slaves were valuable during this time due to the fact that the transatlantic slave trade had ended 30 years prior to the movies setting. I feel that the sailor would be less careless because he would most likely have been fined or punished for killing the slave because he is not the owner.
Three historical events or developments that I could connect to the movie are; the Fugitive Slave act, the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the growth of the Abolitionist movement. I can connect the Fugitive Slave Act because Northup was kidnapped because of the Fugitive Slave Act. I can connect the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade because it caused people to be want more slaves without having anywhere to get them from which caused tension and it caused slave owners to be more brutal but less careless.
I can connect the rise of the Abolitionist movement because meeting the abolitionist from Canada is what causes Northup to fight back.I think that knowing about the civil war and the causes of the civil war was helpful when watching this movie because it helped contextualize the movie. When watching it I felt that I had a better understanding of historically how things would have happened and how certain events in the movie would lead to later things in history. It was really great to have the extra understanding when watching the movie because it made the movie clearer to follow and I felt that I knew almost behind the scenes information.
This movie helped me understand a more personal side of the period leading up to the civil war. When we study history there is a general focus on broader topics because there is so much ground to cover. So it was really awesome to see a more personal and one person’s account of that time period. The scene that was most impactful to me was the scene where Solomon Northup is almost hanged and is struggling on his tiptoes with a rope on his neck to keep himself from choking. In the face of fear and peril the other slaves try to ignore Northup and pretend to be busy their daily routines. This scene was impactful to me because it showed how wicked and ruthless the slave owners were.
It also conveyed how terribly the slaves were treated that they were terrified to even slightly step “out of line”. Overall I thought that scene was one of the most impactful because it did a good job of showing just how awfully slaves were treated. I liked this movie a lot and I don’t think that I would have changed any specific parts of the movie because it combines history and a story of humanity and resilience which is really cool to see. Even the parts of the movie that were somewhat historically inaccurate didn’t affect the way I saw or thought about the movie. Overall it was really good and I would highly recommend it to anyone.