“Twelve Years a Slave” evaluation


Twelve Years a Slave is a film that takes place before the Civil War, and is about the kidnapping and selling of a free black man into slavery. He was from upstate New York, and one day, what seemed to be an innocent meeting with two men, turned out to be the beginning of something that would change his life forever. That inciting incident leads to this question, “Will Solomon Northup ever be free again”. Solomon is sold to a malicious owner in the south. He struggles and faces years among years of unimaginable cruelty. His faith and strength is put to the test as he encounters many hardships, and decisions to make along the way. Every day he claims he doesn’t want to just survive, but he wants to live, and he shows just that throughout the entire movie. He is in slavery for twelve years, until his paths cross with an abolitionist, who decides that Solomon is worth the fight for.

This film has a combination of several genres. The first is biography, seeing how it is based on the book, Twelves Years a Slave, written by Northup himself. It also is a drama, because of the realistic characteristics this movie contains, and also a Historical genre because this story is a huge part of history within the events of slavery.

Personally, I do not believe this film is set to simply entertain. I believe it’s to be used for more on an educational stance. Seeing how it’s about slavery, and Northup, and it’s historical, I believe it’s goal was to provide a deeper meaning. I say that it’s plan was to open the eyes of people, who might not care much, or know much about slavery, and show them a true story of something that happened, and give them a two hour view into the lives of slaves. I believe the story was amazing at doing this, and if it’s goal was to educated and provide a sense of understanding towards this part of history, I believe it did its job.

This story is worth award recognition because of it’s amazing portrayal of slavery at this time in history. It did a fantastic job at showcasing exactly how the lives of slaves were, right down to small details that we might not think about, like the desire to have soap to wash their body with, like was seen in the movie. The film not only pays attention to big details, but also makes sure the little details are met as well, which gives the viewer a better look at what actually occurred during that time. I believe the screenwriters did a fantastic job at the language, tone, and words chosen to be used. The movie was overall very well made, and captivated you from the very beginning. It’s an emotional movie, that gives you the chills, and that reason alone is why it deserves the award recognition it received.


Each character had their own impact on the film. Obviously Solomon Northup had the biggest impact, seeing how he is the protagonist. His presence throughout the entire film brought a sense of hope, and calmness. His character seemed to always have a calm demeanor about himself, and it helped balance the story out, when all the other characters were not so calm. Edwin Epps, his last slave owner, portrayed a very malicious man, and that impacted the story in a very big way, making you literally fear for the slaves lives. You also have Brown and Hamilton, the two men that drugged him, and took him to be sold. If it wasn’t for them, Northup would never have been sold into slavery. So they both impacted the story in probably one of the biggest ways.

Personally, I believe the emotional aspect was the most important aspect of the film for me. The storyline sparked an emotion, whether sadness, anger, or happiness, and that helped the film along. If it didn’t bring some sort of emotion, then it would not have been doing it’s job.

This film shows man vs. man. It’s Solomon Northup against the slave masters, including Ford and Epps. The entire movie is him up against someone. It was like he never caught a break, until twelves years later.


This film did an amazing job at showcasing slavery. It brought up emotions, and awareness for these encounters in history. This movie made me want to cry almost from the very beginning. I was intrigued, and really captivated by the film. The screenwriters did a fantastic job at the script, and the actors did great at portraying it. I believe anyone that is interested in learning about history, or slavery should watch this film. It’s one of the best films I have seen that documents this part of history in an accurate, yet heart wrenching way.


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