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11 Reasons Why Watching 12 Years A Slave Is Essential


The praise for 12 Years A Slave has been almost universally positive, and it is not hype. Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a freeborn African-American man who’s kidnapped into slavery, and starring Chiwetelu “Chiwetel” Ejiofor, the film is a riveting take on the gruesome practice–a part of American history many are too quick to gloss over.

Ejiofor winning anything less than an Academy Award for his stellar performance will be a travesty. The British actor’s managed to standout in a star studded cast that also includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti, and many more.

While the film is already critically acclaimed, a strong showing at the box office (it is in theaters now, October 18) is the only way authentic, engaging and thought provoking films like these will continue to be made. With that in mind, here at 10 reasons watching 12 Years A Slave is essential, whether you’re the descendant of a slave (or a slave master), are just curious or phenomenal cinema is what you crave.

Photos: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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Comment Comments: 19 Tags Tags: 12 years a slave, steve mcqueen

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  • Ok

    How about making Thousands Years a King or Queen for a change…

    • Moya Oneilla Rose-Miller

      Right I’m over these slavery movies that do not educate ppl…we were free before slavery and free now why is that time period all we get killed with

    • getreal

      You on point with that.

    • Nov. 8

      I’m so with you on this we know about our ancestors being slaves how about giving us our past before coming to a land that was stolen!

    • Matt

      Yeah I’ll pass. Let’s get a thriller that took place 3000 years ago in Kemet (Egypt). And I don’t want to see a camel pulling ppl on a wagon or a bird used to send sms. I want to see some real African ingenuity.

  • Nope

    Holla at me when Mansa Musa comes out.

    • this comment needs to be at the top of the list.

  • buck

    they keep blocking my true comment dont bite

  • buck

    every time i hear bs like this i laugh and i will never let a movie like this be played in or around my house or children.

    • love

      oh gosh, well i hope your not black because your children won’t know thier history. if your white that’s why white people act like these things never happen you figure if you don’t knowledge it it didn’t happen meh.

      • getreal

        We have another history too. Our forefathers were Inventors of a lot of things that are still in use today but have never gotten credit for. The street stop light is one of them. That’s the part our children should also know but is never brought up or made into a movie.



    • getreal


  • Ava

    Interesting recommendation; Now perhaps the editors of this site ought to do the same considering the content which lies at the bottom of this page. I.E “Wired 25: Hip-Hop’s 25 Favorite Dominican Women” or “Bangin Candy: Gorgeous Thai Vixen Angie Ang” which glories women of a certain ethnicity and skin tone and mutely continues the self hate propaganda. White people are not our problem, the movie which should be made is one which addresses the sick black on black racism amongst black people as based on this film in the eyes of the movie black was black where it was a few shades lighter or all the way “red/yellow bone” as you people call it.

  • getreal

    Essential for WHO? Damn sure ain’t essential for me.

  • Power2DaSheeples.

    How about making a movie about blacks called “Getting my Degree”? But of course Hollywood and black women(who love black oppression movies) cant stand to see any movies about positive blacks, that`s why Hollywood keeps referring back to slavery and pre civil rights times just to remind negroes where they came from and not where they`re going.

  • Lex PrimeOne

    “Hollywood Shuffle”…..watch it, TODAY!

  • Lex PrimeOne

    I had a lot to say about Blacks needing positive images but I got censored three times. Enough of these stories.It’s time for some BLACK HEROES. That’s much better for our children.

  • the guest

    Spike Lee deserves a lifetime achievement award from the academy. He has earned his resentments. He literally took bottles back to the store to make an independent film that would pioneer modern black cinema and he has been consistently overlooked. None o these films would have been green lighted and none of the avant garde white directors successful if it were not for Mr. Lee.