Based on the true story of Solomon Northup; a free man who was kidnapped, forced into slavery and remained there for twelve years, this movie was extremely difficult to watch but told a much-needed story and didn’t shy away from displaying all the gory details of the primal sin of America.
I credit Chiwetel Ejiofor for an absolutely amazing performance. His role as Solomon drew me into the movie within the first scene. While his thoughts could not always be verbalized, the look in his eyes told the pain of his circumstances and his will to not only survive but to LIVE.
I found myself drawn in even more by the role of Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o), the female slave who picked more cotton than her male counterparts and quickly found herself as the slave owner’s object of affection. She became subject to his rape and the relentless abuse of his wife once she became aware of his fixation. I fought tears for her character and flinched during her abuse.
As one who was raised to believe that there is good in all races, the term “exceptional ni**er” used in the movie struck a chord. I have worked extremely hard to educate and carry myself in a way that is honorable to God, myself and my family. It is unfortunate to know that even in these times, I too, will still be considered as nothing more than an “exceptional ni**er” to some.
I left the theater with a renewed sense of pride for my race and appreciation for generations past. Our story is one of heartbreak but is filled with inspiration. Our strength is invaluable and our perseverance is yet required.
I am so glad I got over the thought of having seen one too many slave movies within the past few months because this one was well worth it. Kudos to the director, Steve McQueen, for bringing this story to life.