12 Years a Slave – DVD review

Steve McQueen’s potent, important and unforgettable film about Solomon Northrup’s sale into slavery

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Steve McQueen, 2013

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The most deserving Best Picture Oscar winner in recent memory is a triumph on every level: the emotionally haunting story of Solomon Northrup’s sale into slavery; the vivid evocation of the trade’s brutal machinery; exemplary acting across the board led by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

With Hunger and Shame, Steve McQueen established himself as one of the UK’s finest directors; here he graduates to film-making on a grand scale yet still captures the intensity and claustrophobia of his earliest video art and finds time for moments of rare cinematic beauty.

Potent, important and unforgettable.

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