From The Guardian:“12 Years a Slave: heroic, yes — but is it definitely necessary?” by David Cox
“According to [Director Steve] McQueen, [12 Years a Slave] is ‘necessary’. (The Guardian’s critic agreed that it’s a ‘necessary’ film, while a critic at the London Evening Standard found it “truly necessary”.) The film is deemed to be challenging, thought-provoking and powerful, forcing audiences to confront unwelcome but important realities….If you want to see the real issues of the day confronted, try books, theatre or television. Mainstream cinema would rather wait until such issues no longer matter. Maybe economics make that inevitable, but let’s be honest about it: McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave may be engrossing and magnificent, but it isn’t necessary.”
Questions For Consideration:
Have you already or are you planning to see 12 Years a Slave? If you have chosen not to see it, why not? If you saw the film, did it feel like ‘necessary’ viewing? What kind of effect does the brutality of the film have on the audience member? How is the audience supposed to feel after watching the film? In other words, after films like Amistad, Beloved, and Django Unchained, what does this film add to the conversation?
Want to learn more?
- The slaves who sued for freedom
- Totality of slavery made mercilessly clear in ’12 Years a Slave’
- 12 Years A Slave: I am sick of slave movies
- ’12 Years a Slave’: In Our ‘Postracial’ Age, the Legacy of Slavery Lives On
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