There’s an image from 12 Years A Slave I’ve been searching for and I’m disappointed I didn’t find it!
The image is of a defiant and bound Solomon NORTHUP dangling from a hangman’s noose, just barely escaping death by balancing on his toes. A BEYOND painful scene in the movie that’s as slow-moving and sticky as molasses. The scene — and you — hang there right along with Solomon.
Having lost my 4th Grandfather James WINGFIELD in WILKES County GA and my 4th Aunt Amanda CODY in neighboring WARREN County to lynchings, Solomon’s agony made me physically nauseous.
And then the backdrop stole the show — at least for me. What plays out in the backdrop called for more pity — and summoned more anger — than Solomon being hung did!
As a matter of fact, Solomon NORTHUP was not to be pitied at all! To paraphrase Master William FORD, Solomon was pretty damn REMARKABLE!:)
But the time-lapsed backdrop is another matter altogether!
Over the course of a few EXCRUCIATING minutes, Director Steve McQUEEN impeccably delivered a non-verbal, CRYSTAL-CLEAR verdict on the psychological devastation our Ancestors endured daily — and it felt like a sucker-punch to the heart.
Not shocking Solomon being ignored by the Overseer and Mistress — he was their property after all; he’d broken the rules and was subject to punishment. Despicable yes, but shocking? No. But his peers, fellow slaves ignored him too — out of beaten into your bones fear; out of hopelessness that seeped through their skin and […]