12 Years a Slave, a true story, tells the story of a free black man named Solomon Northrup who was tricked into going to Washington, D.C. on the pretense of getting work where he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. This movie is told from his point of view, of what he went through those long and torturous twelve years as a slave. Solomon was a free black man living in Saratoga, New York, where he had a family and was well liked. It was the idea of getting more money for his family that he fell for a story from two men who he should have been suspicious of from the beginning. He should have seen it: two white men asking a black man to work with them for two weeks and then he would be able to go back home.
In the time of the 1840’s, blacks were viewed as beasts and meant to be dealt with harshly. They were not considered humans but basically animals to do with what whites felt like doing to them. It was a horrendous and shameful time. The people who kidnapped and sold him into slavery beat him unmercifully and tried to break him. He had several masters in the twelve years that he was a slave and it seemed only two who were kind and benevolent towards him. He did what he had to in order to survive the years that he was a slave. He was a man who knew how to read and write and if his masters had known that; he would most likely had been killed. He did try one time to get word out that he was a slave to his family only to be betrayed. It was only towards the end of those twelve years did relief come. It came in the form of a Canadian man named Bass, whom he asked for help and it was given. It was not long after that he was freed and he was able to go home to his family. I rejoiced in that and was happy that he was finally able to go home and be with his family.
I am not sure why this movie bothered me or touched me the way it did but it did, in such a way that it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong it was a good movie, but the facts and seeing things from his perspective just pulled at me emotionally. There was one part of the movie that really upset me and that was the time where he was ordered by his last master to whip one of the other slaves. He did as he was told and it was heart wrenching to watch as he whipped the woman who did nothing other than leave the plantation to head over to another in order to get some soap, since the Mistress of the house hated her so much and wanted her dead. It was so emotionally devastating when their master took over and brutally and mercilessly whipped her. It upset me so much that I was ready to walk out of the movie theater in order to get some relief. It is a part of history that many wish to forget but we are unable to do so because it is history and needs to be known about. I watched other movies, other TV Shows, and even read books about that time period and the Civil War era, but none of them pulled at my emotions like this one did. I, for am glad that I was able to see the movie but I feel this movie will forever make me feel sick to my stomach and unable to watch it again. I can see why it was nominated for an Oscar.