Source: Lou Lumenick / New York Post
It will be impossible to ever look at “Gone With the Wind’’ the same way after “12 Years a Slave,’’ a brutally powerful and emotionally devastating film that takes great pains to rip any lingering vestiges of romanticism from America’s most shameful institution.
You might be able to shrug off even the lurid depiction of slavery in “Django Unchained’’ to some extent as a cartoonish Tarantino fantasy. But “12 Years’’ does not flinch from showing the most horrifyingly graphic details of Solomon Northup’s struggle to survive in a hellish pre-Civil War Louisiana, which he documented in a remarkable memoir.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is unforgettable as Northup, whose journey is especially compelling because he begins it in 1841 as a free black man in Saratoga, NY, a talented violinist and respected member of the community.
Tricked into traveling to Washington, DC, for a supposed job, Northup awakens from a night of drinking chained up in a filthy cell, where he has been stripped of his free papers, dignity and even his name before being shipped to New Orleans to be sold into slavery.
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