The movie, 12 Years a Slave, is about a man named Solomon who was a free black man in the 1940’s. He was married and worked as a fiddle played until he was captured and put on a ship to New Orleans where he was sold into slavery. The story takes you through the harsh beatings and sub-par living conditions that were very common in slave days. Solomon goes through the torment until he figures out a way to reclaim his freedom and his family.
It is very important that America never forgets about the history of slave trades and the torture that was endured by many people simply to learn from past mistakes. The popular quote, “You don’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been”, certainly applies here. The days of slavery was Americas number one mistake and when you watch movies that depicts real hardships of slaves it makes you appreciate where we are now and how far we have come as a country. (Star Telegram, 2013)
Just like Solomon in the movie, 12 Years a Slave, many were very educated and had families to care for then were abruptly uprooted from their lives with no warning for any reason. The impact of much more surreal when you watch something so graphic that depicts real events than when you read about slavery in history books or online. Growing up in this day and age, some people tend to lose the significance of this history. I personally could not imagine considering an actual person a piece of property from birth to death and 12 Years a Slave take you through the raw emotions of the time period.
The movie is set in a deep-south cotton plantation where owners have no conscious for putting real people through misery and pain, graphically showing the relationship between slave owners and slaves. Then, right when you lose all hope for Caucasian Americans, the movie brings in a character that reminds you not everyone treated people badly. It brings a sense of perspective from multiple points of views into light. Realizing that yes, some people were acting at the hands of Satan, but not everyone.
America needs to remember how important it really is to treat everyone as an equal no matter the skin color and this movie certain makes you take a look at your life. Children and young adults especially needed this reminder to have respect for other people. (Examiner, 2013)
The story ends with Solomon trying to claim his freedom, being beaten to almost death, and losing all trust in white Americans. It was not until many years later that he felt comfortable enough to confide in his boss, a white carpenter, about the hardships he has endured. Later the state of New York passed a law giving financial resources to those who were kidnapped into slavery. Not long after, his white counterparts travel to Louisiana and reclaim his freedom.. (Fandango, 2013)
The important message of this story is that it is all true. People were captured and sold into slavery no explanation and treated as if they were disposable beings. After seeing the movie, the impact stays with you from there on out. The message is so powerful in getting people to realize that tragic activities and things that took place not too long ago. America’s history will always be there and it is our duty a human beings to move on from the mistakes America has made and grow as a nation. From this movie, more people will realize how precious life is and how important it is to treat people properly and with respect. The images are graphic, but the message is powerful.
- Examiner. 2013. Clarity Digital Group LLC. 12 Years a Slave. November 2013. www.examiner.com/article/a-review-12/
- Fandango. 2013. Fandango Inc. 12 Years a Slave. November 2013. www.fandango.com/12yearsaslave_v547471
- Star Telegram. 2013. Bobby Sanders Weatherford Telegram. Slavery in America must never be forgotten. November 2013. www.star-telegram.com/2013