12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave
12 Years a Slave

Recommended by Tanya Scoon

Of the dozens, possibly into hundreds of times I have been to the cinema in my life, the end of this film is the only time I can recall complete and utter silence from the audience as the credits rolled.

It was broken only by the sniffs and blowing of noses of those who had been deeply affected by the emotions stirred up by this stunning, beautifully-filmed, brutal and touching film directed by Steve McQueen.

It tells the true story of Solomon Northup, the son of a former slave, who was a free man living in upstate New York in 1841 when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He spent 12 years working for a series of masters in the cotton and sugar plantations of the Louisiana bayou before he managed to regain his freedom against all the odds.

Yes some of the scenes are very graphic and brutal and, some may argue a bit too drawn out.

But slavery was very cruel and I believe this DVD should be shown to all school pupils as part of the history curriculum.