Film: 12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Subject: Slavery
Why: Education

“I will survive! I will not fall into despair. I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!”

The film getting a lot of Oscar nods at the moment (2014) is 12 Years a Slave. But it’s also one of the few previews I’ve been to that hasn’t been packed, and I go to a lot (shout out to Steve M. for all the tickets over the years).

But with a line like that in it why wouldn’t you want to see it? It’s inspiring, it’s uplifting, it’s got an incredible cast and beautiful Negro spirituals. So what is keeping people away? Well it’s also violent, harrowing and appalling and takes you right into the mire of human depravity with lynchings, rapes and floggings … You want to look away and crawl under the seat but you also have this unnerving feeling that you need to see this film and it could be the most important thing you see this year.

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