Just before two days, the Americans celebrated the independence day of USA. This was the 238th year of independence. USA has set it up as the world power in the course of time but there is a pathetic history of Slavery in USA and it stands still in attitude of some of the Americans till today in the name of Racism. Although the USA achieved independence in 1776, in my view the real independence was achieved in 1865 with legally abolishing slavery in all states of the USA. Read about the President who did this great work in my previous article : Abraham Lincoln
Whoever is reading the article right now has probably not seen/experienced slavery at any moment in life and born after independence of their respective countries. It is a human nature to devalue the thing which is achieved without struggle. So as we neglect the value of the Freedom. After getting admission in UK, Malala Yousafzai said in an interview :
“British girls take their education for granted.I believe that, & I want to tell the students of UK to think that it is very precious, it’s very prestigious, go to school. Reading a book, having a pen in our hands, studying, sitting in a classroom is something very special for us because once we were deprived from it & because what we have seen in Swat.” Malala has experienced what it feels not to have education, so she knows the value of it.
Similarly, the 2013 released movie ’12 Years a Slave’ is all about the freedom of an individual. A man who is forced into slavery.
A man who has survived slavery. A black man named Solomon Northup born in independent America wrote a biography named ‘Twelve Years a Slave’. This book is a complete account of his emotions and experience. The film adapted from it, is a masterpiece.
This movie is very much contingent to our life. No matter how old the story of slavery is, it is an insight of what it feels to lose your freedom. Yes, what if you wake up the next day and find that you are no more a free man? What if you lose your name? This true story gives answers of all questions. The movie shows how the dignity is destroyed. How the man is converted into a machine. It is all about ‘Freedom’.
Talking about direction and acting in the movie:
It is flawless. Chiwetel Ejiofor has played the character of Solomon Northup. He has lived the character. He has perfectly portrayed a typical educated free black man (Black men who were not slave in North America). He has shown a true agony, yet patient with hope of being free. At last, he succeeds in being free after 12 years! The last few moments in the movie makes your heart cry with the mixture of happiness and deep sadness/agony/anger and what not.
Look at this scene of the movie where Solomon was hanged by a white guy because Solomon argued with him. (I can’t find humanity from the ‘Whites’ in most of the scenes of movie.)
This is not an entertainment movie, this is a life-story of a survivor. God knows, how many such Solomon Northups would have ended their lives in slavery.
The movie is a true tribute to all millions of slaves who tolerated the torture and survived.
“What difference is there in the color of the soul?”
― Solomon Northup, 12 Years A Slave (The book)