Director Steve McQueen isn’t one to shy away from life’s dark places; he’s made it his work with films like Hunger and Shame, and he served as a war artist in Iraq. His next feature is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who in 1841 was tricked, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Based on Northup’s autobiography, the film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Garret Dillahunt, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Adepero Oduye, Scoot McNairy, Ruth Negga and Quvenzhané Wallis, and looks to be the anti-Django Unchained. I find Fassbender positively terrifying here, but the story is so compelling, 12 Years a Slave will be impossible not to watch.
I don’t have any brilliant words about the Zimmerman verdict—like many of you, I’m struggling to understand who we as a nation of people believe ourselves to be vs. who we really are. Regardless of legalities, another young, black man has senselessly lost his life and I wonder how far we really have come.
12 Years a Slave will be in (limited) theaters starting October 18th.