Yes, “12 Years A Slave” is a solid movie. It deals with a dark period in American history and thus has cultural significance.
It shows without mercy how utterly bad and inhumane slavery was. It portrays the conditions slaves had to endure in graphic detail. There are a lot of moments where the cruelty made me sick.
It’s a good thing that director Steve McQueen chose to be so explicit, especially in the whipping scene at the end. It serves to remind us that this time of inequality was not even 200 years ago and colonialist issues and the aftereffects of slavery still permeate America and much of the western world to this day.
Yes, the actors did a brilliant job, especially Michael Fassbender. Playing a racist prick like his character? Not an easy challenge. So give my respect to the actors, and the director, and everyone of the cast and crew.
But the film has lengths. A lot of things were probably drawn out for emphasis.
Yet I, personally, was rather bored when I wasn’t appalled. The reason behind it is probably that as a viewer you know that this is a Hollywood movie and this is an anti-slavery flick and thus you just know how it ends. The free man illicitly sold into slavery will be free in the end. He will be reunited with his family. He will suffer. The audience will be touched.
So why do I have qualms about openly stating “I didn’t like this movie”? I figure because there is an air of lacking political correctness about this statement. I don’t have a problem saying that I think The Wolf Of Wallstreet sucked, big time. Yet when it comes to films about slavery, I pause.
Isn’t that exactly what’s still wrong in this world? Beside the open racism and misogyny, homophobia and other kinds of hate? I’m referring to the fact that, when it comes to the oppressed, the former oppressed, the minorities, we aka Those Not Oppressed, are too worried about political correctness to actually say anything?
I’m a white European woman and sometimes I hate myself for it because apparently, white Europeans are the arseholes of history. And I believe that every person is the same, just perfect as they are and that hate/discrimination/intolerance for whatever reason is just wrong – but sometimes when I talk about people of colour, minorities, etc (things I can empathize with but never truly understand), I spend a lot of time worrying about what I say for fear of sounding racist/intolerant/too white that I might just say nothing at all.
So all right. I thought “12 Years A Slave” was utterly boring despite a lot of good aspects. I didn’t like the movie. So there.