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McQueen’s (HUNGER) highly anticipated third feature deals poetically and humanely with one of the thorniest aspects of American history.
Based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of the same name, 12 YEARS A SLAVE stars Ejiofor as a well-to-do musician who is kidnapped and forced into slavery in the cotton fields of Louisiana. As the years go by, he is passed from owner to owner, arriving finally at the plantation of Edwin Epps (Fassbender). The relationship between Epps and Northup is perhaps the heart of the film: the former represents the very worst of humanity, while the latter holds on to his faith, his heart going out to persecuted slave girl Patsey (Nyong’o).
The result is the first must-see movie of the Oscar season, an intimate epic about freedom and resilience.