by Justine Love, Contributing Writer

America’s story is an amazing one, but it’s not without bruises and blemishes. Once in a while, stories of the hatred that once lived in our country pop up and educate through the amazement of personal triumph, while hopefully teaching a lesson that never will rear its head again.

In “12 Years A Slave,” director Steve McQueen takes us on an uncomfortable path through an era when people treated other human beings differently because of the color of their skin.

Now, many of us are familiar with the atrocities of America’s dark side, but many people did not realize that even free men could be victimized — and that is the story of Solomon Northup. The film follows the journey of Solomon, an educated and affluent New York citizen, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery just because he was black.

The lead role is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, Four Brothers, Inside Man), a potential Oscar nominee, who embodies the fortitude of Solomon — a man respected in his community — and his will to stay alive so he can return to his family. There are several notable actors in the film, such as Brad Pitt.

The film’s most amazing performance comes from young African-American actress Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Patsey, Solomon‘s master mistress. Her performance is so powerful that every emotion you have will surface.

“12 Years A Slave” is a history lesson for some and for others it’s a legacy of strength for people.

I give this movie 4 stars.

See you at the concession stand!

Justine Love is the director of Community and Public Affairs for CBS Washington, including WPGC. Check back for more Reel Talk reviews.


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