12 Years a Slave Sunday, 05 April 2020

12 Years a Slave

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    MA15+: Strong themes and violence.

  • The pitch:

    Very black and white.

  • Starring:

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dwight Henry, Bryan Batt, Ashley Dyke, Kelsey Scott, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Zeigler, Tony Bentley, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Lupita Nyong'o, Brad Pitt

  • Directed by:

    Steve McQueen

  • Running time:

    134 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)


    People are raped, kidnapped, chained, bound, gagged, beaten, hit with objects (repeatedly), stabbed, whipped, lashed, kicked, slapped, drugged, sold into slavery, lynched, near-hanged, near-choked, dragged, pursued, cut with a razor, threatened. Reference to suicide. Pleading, screaming, yelling, arguing. Execution, lashes mentioned. Ripped clothing. Blood/gore: Corpses. Bloody face, bloody wounds, blood-stained clothing, bloody welts, slicing skin (from whipping), lash marks, open wounds, scars, bloodshot eye.


    A woman is raped. A couple have clothed sex. Kissing, breast-grabbing, masturbation. Full nudity (male and female), cleavage. Mistress.


    A man is drugged. Alcohol (wine, hip flask). Intoxication. Tobacco purchased.


    F-word, n-word, bastard, b*tch. Name-calling. Racial, gender, cultural stereotypes. Religious references and exclamations.


    Slavery, music, US history, human trafficking, kidnapping, biography, cotton-picking, hard labour, rape, pride, depression, prejudice, injustice, exploitation, barbarity, freedom, abolition, memoir.


    Child taken from mother, children drowning in sea (biblical) mentioned. Burial, grave-digging, funeral. Horses, goat, pigs, caterpillars, buzzing insects. Full moon, thunder. Vomiting, spitting. Based on a true story by Solomon Northup.


    Mesmerising, involving, raw, eloquent, horrifying, essential, epic, gut-wrenching, compelling, important, unflinching, brutal, eloquent, approachable, emotional, stark, visceral, unrelenting, necessary, brave, courageous, unforgettable, harrowing. Outstanding performances, pulsating score, memorable characters, stellar cast, astounding story, majestic direction, beautiful cinematography.


    Unrelenting, prettified.

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