Thursday, January 16, 2014

'12 Years A Slave' and A Day Out With My Daughter

Today I had the day off work and what better way to spend it, than to spend the day with one of my daughters. :)

Lauren, my youngest daughter passed her driving test not too long ago and I could not wait to go for a ride in her new car.  Our luncheon venue was 'The Taproom' in St Ives.  What a lovely place for Mum and daughter to spend an afternoon, just catching up together.  It was a very pleasant meal to say the least. It meant a great deal to me to be able to treat my daughter. I know how hard she has been working recently and I also know how thrilled to bits she is at having passed her driving test. Every moment I spend with my either of children are the best times ever. The bond I still have with both of them can never be removed, no matter what!!!

After we said our good-byes this afternoon, I decided to drive to the Showcase Cinema to watch the feature film '12 Years A Slave.'  There are some films you just have to go and watch on your own! This film is now firmly in my top 10 rated films.  I can honestly say that I did not leave the Cinema with dry eyes, the film was that good!!!!  It told the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup who was sold into slavery after he was kidnapped in Washington, D.C.  He was a New York State-born 'free' negro.

The film is an adaptation of the 1853 book with the same title, written by Solomon Northup himself. It was directed by Steve McQueen (Brilliant!) and it stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, who incidentally is outstanding in his portrayal of Solomon Northup. The film also starred Michael Fassbender and there was a short appearance in the film by Brad Pitt.

I have also noted that the film has outstanding cinematography. Absolutely fabulous!

A Slight Spoiler

Continuing with the film story and my thoughts: The film captivated me from start to finish!  Solomon Northup was a carpenter and fiddle player who lived with his wife and two children in Saratago Springs, New York. After being kidnapped, he was sold to slavery whereby he watched a female slave being sold and parted from her children. She never gets over her grief. Soloman and his fellow slaves were lashed/whipped repeatedly for not picking enough bales of cotton and he was almost left hanging from a tree with only his toes to provide him with a stable balance, all because he dared to stand up for himself!  The one thought which kept him alive was the thought of becoming a free man again and going home to his wife and children.  He watched slaves who were murdered and raped by their torturers/masters. Human beings being ill-treated in such a manner, how and why were people so cruel, purely because of the colour of ones skin! The treatment and the ordeal all of those folk went through is beyond belief! Thank God for Abraham Lincoln!

Eventually Northup meets a Canadian laborer named Bass (Brad Pitt).  As they both work on building a gazebo together Northup decides to confide in him about his kidnapping. Bass risks his own life when he promises to send word to Saratoga Springs of Northup's whereabouts.

After being a slave for 12 years Northup is finally freed when he is rescued by the Sheriff and a shop keeper from Saratoga who recognises him. He is taken home to be with his family again.  Northrup and his legal council eventually prosecute the men responsible for him being sold to slavery and until this date it still remains a mystery re Nothrup's eventual death and burial.

During every lash of the whip, I could feel myself wince as I recalled the extreme pain I felt when a teacher once hit me with a plastic ruler on the back of my hand. I could feel that sheer pain go to my head as I felt the agony of the sting I received from it. I did not deserve it! Can you imagine the sheer pain those folk must have endured whilst being whipped repeatedly in such a way? None of them deserved the hell they must have gone through.  

Indeed, a very sad tale.  A film which will leave you feeling very emotional afterwards.

I loved the film. It is well worth a watch.

SmileyRoseFrances x

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