Twelve Years a Slave Earns Standing Ovation
Historical film Twelve Years a Slave is gaining great momentum, with its latest viewing in Toronto.
The movie is set in the 1840s and rooted in slavery. It was given a standing ovation by viewers on Friday night at the Toronto Film Festival, after a mesmerizing debut last week in Telluride.
The film, which will be out October 18 in limited release, is based upon Solomon Northrop’s story, played perfectly by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Northrop was a free man of color living in 1941 in Saratoga. He was kidnapped and returned to the south where he was sold as a slave.
Solomon is educated, has a family in New York and is a talented violinist. However, he slowly falls into a world that dehumanizes people and looses all hope of exit. His story is true and the film is based on Northrop’s autobiography that was published following his rescue.
In Toronto, while the credits were rolling on the screen, the audience stood and applauded loudly as they all reflected on what they seen.
One member of the audience said that the psychotic plantation owner was an incredible character in the film. After the credits rolled, the cast of the film answered questions from the audience on hand.
Brad Pitt, the movie’s producer was asked why more films had not been made about slavery in the U.S.
Ejiofor said it was intense going back to those places, but the story of Solomon contained hope and beauty as well as a hope for human dignity and respect.
Director Steve McQueen said he took on the film project only because it was an important thing he felt he had to do.