12 Years a Slave

In 2013, the world was introduced to a movie that would change the way we look at historical cinema forever. "12 Years a Slave" is a powerful and emotional film that tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free Black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the mid-1800s. The movie is based on Northup's own memoir, which he wrote after he was finally able to regain his freedom. The film was directed by Steve McQueen and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role, with supporting performances from Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Brad Pitt.

"12 Years a Slave" is a harrowing and brutal look at the realities of slavery in America, and it pulls no punches in its depiction of the violence and cruelty that enslaved people endured. The movie is also a powerful meditation on the themes of freedom, identity, and the human spirit. It raises important questions about the legacy of slavery in America and the ongoing struggle for racial justice today.

In this blog post, we will explore the impact that "12 Years a Slave" had on cinema and society as a whole. We will examine the themes and messages of the movie, and look at how it fits into the larger context of historical cinema. We will also consider the ways in which the film influenced conversations about race and representation in Hollywood, and how it continues to resonate with audiences today.

The release of "12 Years a Slave" was a landmark moment in American cinema, and it remains a powerful and important film today. By examining its impact and significance, we can gain a deeper understanding of the ongoing struggles for racial justice in our society, and the role that art and media can play in shaping our perceptions and attitudes. Join us as we delve into this important and thought-provoking movie.


I'm sure you will also enjoy the following films:

TitleRelease YearDirectorIMDB Rating
Schindler's List1993Steven Spielberg8.9
The Pianist2002Roman Polanski8.5
The Color Purple1985Steven Spielberg7.8
The Help2011Tate Taylor8.1
The Butler2013Lee Daniels7.2

I recently watched "Schindler's List," the 1993 movie directed by Steven Spielberg. This film is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

Plot Summary

The movie starts with the invasion of Poland by the German army in 1939. Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow, where he opens a factory to produce enamelware. He quickly realizes that he can make a fortune by employing Jewish laborers, who are forced to work for him by the Nazis. Schindler's factory becomes a safe haven for the Jewish workers, as he bribes the SS officers to keep them safe.

As the war progresses, Schindler becomes more and more involved in rescuing Jews from the concentration camps. He spends his entire fortune buying their freedom and providing them with food and shelter. In the end, Schindler is forced to flee to Argentina, but not before he has saved the lives of more than a thousand people.

Impressions

The strong point of "Schindler's List" is the way it tells a powerful and heartbreaking story of courage and sacrifice. The cinematography is stunning, with a black-and-white color scheme that captures the bleakness and horror of the Holocaust. The acting is superb, with Liam Neeson delivering a powerful performance as Schindler, and Ben Kingsley as his Jewish accountant, Itzhak Stern.

The weak point of the movie is that it is emotionally draining. The scenes of the concentration camps are hard to watch, and the movie can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted. However, this is also a testament to the power of the movie, as it shows the reality of the Holocaust in a way that is both brutal and honest.

What Makes It Special

"Schindler's List" is special because it is a movie that tells an important story that needs to be told. It reminds us of the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of fighting against hatred and intolerance. The movie also has a great cast, with every actor delivering a powerful performance.

Personal Opinion

As a movie expert, I can say that "Schindler's List" is one of the best movies ever made. It is a true masterpiece that tells a powerful story with great acting, cinematography, and direction. It is a must-watch for anyone who wants to understand the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of standing up against hatred and intolerance.


"The Pianist" is a movie that was released in 2002, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrien Brody in the lead role. The movie is based on the true story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist who survived World War II and Nazi occupation in Warsaw.

Plot Summary

The movie follows Szpilman as he navigates the horrors of the Holocaust, hiding in various locations throughout the city, and witnessing the atrocities committed against his fellow Jews. Despite the constant danger and fear, Szpilman manages to survive thanks to the kindness of strangers and his own determination to stay alive. As the war comes to a close, Szpilman emerges from hiding, emaciated and alone, but with a newfound appreciation for life.

Impressions

"The Pianist" is a powerful and deeply affecting movie that captures the horrors of the Holocaust in a way that is both visceral and emotional. The cinematography is stunning, with haunting shots of the war-torn city and the desolate landscapes that Szpilman must traverse. The performances are equally impressive, with Brody delivering a nuanced and heartbreaking portrayal of Szpilman. The supporting cast is also excellent, with standout performances from Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Wilm Hosenfeld and Frank Finlay as Szpilman's father.

Strengths

One of the strengths of "The Pianist" is its attention to detail and historical accuracy. The movie stays faithful to Szpilman's memoirs and provides a realistic portrayal of life in Nazi-occupied Poland. The pacing is also excellent, with the movie managing to balance the horrors of war with moments of quiet reflection and humanity.

Weaknesses

One of the weaknesses of "The Pianist" is its lack of focus on the wider context of the Holocaust. While the movie is a powerful portrayal of Szpilman's personal struggles, it does not delve into the larger political and social factors that led to the genocide of six million Jews. Additionally, some viewers may find the movie's unflinching depiction of violence and suffering difficult to watch.

Overall, "The Pianist" is a must-see movie for anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust or the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The movie's stunning cinematography, powerful performances, and attention to historical detail make it one of the most compelling and emotionally resonant war movies of all time.


As a lover of movies, I recently watched the 1985 release, "The Color Purple," and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with this film. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey, this movie was a cinematic masterpiece that tackled some heavy themes.

Plot Summary

"The Color Purple" is a movie adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. Set in the early 1900s, the story follows Celie (played by Whoopi Goldberg), a young African American woman who is abused by her father and forced to marry an abusive man named Albert (played by Danny Glover). Celie's life is transformed when she meets Shug Avery (played by Margaret Avery), a blues singer who becomes her friend and lover. Through their relationship, Celie gains the strength to stand up to her abusers and find her own voice.

Strong Points

One of the strongest aspects of this movie is its cast. Whoopi Goldberg gives a powerful performance as Celie, bringing depth and vulnerability to the character. Danny Glover is also impressive as Albert, portraying the character's cruelty and insecurity with nuance. Oprah Winfrey shines as Sofia, Celie's feisty and outspoken friend who refuses to be silenced.

Another strength of this movie is its cinematography. The shots are beautifully composed, and the use of color is particularly effective in conveying the emotions of the characters. The scene where Celie finally stands up to Albert, for example, is shot in a warm, golden light, which gives the moment a sense of triumph and hope.

Weak Points

While "The Color Purple" is a powerful and moving movie, it does have some flaws. One criticism is that it simplifies the complexity of the relationships between the characters. For example, the movie portrays Shug Avery as a savior figure for Celie, when in the book, their relationship is more complicated and nuanced. Additionally, some critics have argued that the movie reinforces stereotypes about African American men as abusive and violent.

Overall Impression

Despite its flaws, "The Color Purple" is a movie that stays with you long after you've watched it. It is a powerful story about the strength of women and the importance of finding your own voice. The movie's themes of love, redemption, and forgiveness are universal and resonate with audiences of all backgrounds. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves a good story and appreciates great filmmaking.


I recently watched "The Help," a 2011 movie directed by Tate Taylor and based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett. The movie is set in 1960s Mississippi and follows the lives of black maids who work for white families during the Civil Rights Movement.

Plot Summary

The story is told from the perspectives of three main characters: Skeeter, a white woman who aspires to be a writer; Aibileen, a black maid who has spent her life taking care of white children; and Minny, another black maid who is known for her cooking skills but struggles to keep a job due to her outspoken personality.

Skeeter convinces Aibileen and Minny to share their stories about working as maids, and together they work on a book that exposes the mistreatment and racism that black maids face in their daily lives. As the book gains popularity, tensions rise in the town and the women face potential danger.

Impressions

"The Help" is a heartwarming and emotional movie that sheds light on the struggles of black maids during the Civil Rights Movement. The movie does an excellent job of portraying the harsh realities of racism while still maintaining a sense of hope and optimism.

One of the strongest points of the movie is the cast. The performances of Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Emma Stone are exceptional and truly bring the characters to life. The chemistry between the actors is also noteworthy, creating a sense of camaraderie that is essential to the story.

Another strong point of the movie is the cinematography. The shots are visually stunning and add depth to the story. The use of close-ups and wide shots helps to highlight the emotions and tension in various scenes.

Weak Points

While the movie does an excellent job of portraying the struggles of black maids, some critics argue that it perpetuates the "white savior" narrative. This criticism suggests that the movie portrays Skeeter as the hero who saves the black maids, rather than giving agency to the black characters.

Another weak point of the movie is the pacing. At times, the movie can feel slow and drawn out, particularly in the middle of the story.

Conclusion

Overall, "The Help" is a powerful and moving movie that sheds light on an important part of history. While it may have its weaknesses, the strong performances and excellent cinematography make it a must-watch. The movie has a special place in my heart as it portrays the importance of speaking up and standing up for what is right, even when it's difficult.


As a movie enthusiast, I recently watched "The Butler," a 2013 release directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, and David Oyelowo. The movie is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, an African American man who served as a butler in the White House for over 30 years, spanning eight different presidencies.

Plot Summary

The movie showcases the life of Cecil Gaines (played by Forest Whitaker), a plantation worker who becomes a butler at the White House. Through his eyes, we witness the civil rights movement and major political events that have shaped America's history. His son, Louis (played by David Oyelowo), becomes an activist in the civil rights movement, and their differing views on how to achieve equal rights for African Americans cause a rift in their relationship.

Strong Points

The acting in this movie is outstanding. Forest Whitaker plays the role of Cecil Gaines with such nuance and depth that it's easy to forget he's an actor playing a character. Oprah Winfrey, who plays Cecil's wife, delivers a powerful performance as well. David Oyelowo, who portrays Cecil's son, provides a perfect contrast to his father's quiet and reserved demeanor. The movie's visuals and cinematography are also impressive, capturing the different eras and events in American history with great detail.

Weak Points

The pacing of the movie can be slow at times, and some scenes feel unnecessary or repetitive. The movie's message about the civil rights movement and racial injustice can also come across as heavy-handed or preachy.

What Makes This Movie Special

Overall, "The Butler" is a poignant and thought-provoking movie that showcases America's history through the eyes of a man who served at the White House during some of the country's most tumultuous times. The movie's strong cast and impressive visuals make it a must-watch for anyone interested in American history or the civil rights movement.

Cast and Crew

The movie's director, Lee Daniels, is known for his work on movies like "Precious" and "The Paperboy." Forest Whitaker, who plays the lead role of Cecil Gaines, has won an Academy Award for his performance in "The Last King of Scotland." Oprah Winfrey, who portrays Cecil's wife, is a media mogul and actress who is known for her talk show and philanthropic work. David Oyelowo, who plays Cecil's son Louis, has starred in movies like "Selma" and "A United Kingdom."

Personal Opinion

As a movie enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Butler" and would recommend it to anyone interested in American history or the civil rights movement. The movie's impressive cast and visuals, combined with its powerful message, make it a standout film. While the pacing can be slow at times, the movie's overall impact and relevance to current events make it a must-watch.