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Sydenham Film Club presents 12 YEARS A SLAVE
7.30pm Thursday 29 May at the Golden Lion, 116 Sydenham Road SE26 5JX map
£5 on the door, free to members!
Artist-turned director Steve McQueen returns with an unflinching look at American slavery that has taken the world by storm.
Telling the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who is abducted and sold into slavery, this ground-breaking film confronts this abhorrent part of American history head on.
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup, it follows his journey from freedom to slavery and back again via a cast of brutal slave owners made all the more menacing by their almost banal dedication to the violent subjugation of those people they unquestioningly count as property.
The power of this film is almost unchallenged, with almost unanimous agreement that it is essential watching. Difficult maybe, but only as it should be.
Awarded the Oscar and BAFTA for Best Picture, the cast have also won big: Ejiofor picked up BAFTA for his performance as Northrup while newcomer Lupita Nyong’o bagged the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as complex and defiant cotton picker Patsey.
Join Sydenham Film Club for this landmark in the history of cinema, and for what we hope is a lively discussion.
★★★★★ 12 Years a Slave isn’t simply a masterpiece, it’s a milestone. This, at last, really is history written with lightning.
Robbie Collin, THE TELEGRAPH
★★★★★ This modern classic about slavery from the thrilling Steve McQueen transcends even the searing preoccupations of his previous films Shame and Hunger. Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN
★★★★★ The cumulative emotional effect is devastating: the final scenes here are as angry, as memorable, as overwhelming as anything modern cinema has to offer. Tom Huddleston, TIME OUT
★★★★ One of Britain’s greatest living filmmakers offers an outraged, intense and artful examination of American slavery.
Ashley Clark, LITTLE WHITE LIES
★★★★ 12 Years a Slave proves McQueen’s formal prowess and, more significantly, his utter seriousness as a dramatist. Calum Marsh, SIGHT AND SOUND FILM OF THE WEEK