As Steve McQueen makes his first foray into genre filmmaking this week with the vital reimagining of the 80s Channel 4 TV drama 'Widows' - now in our cinemas - rediscover his Oscar-winning tale of survival and freedom, '12 Years A Slave'.
It is 1841 and Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Stripped of his identity and deprived of all dignity, Northup is purchased by ruthless plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) and must find the strength within to survive. In his twelfth year in captivity, a chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
Filled with powerful performances by an outstanding cast, ’12 Years A Slave’ is both an unflinching account of slavery and a celebration of the power of hope.
★★★★★ "12 Years a Slave isn’t simply a masterpiece, it’s a milestone. This, at last, really is history written with lightning" - Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
★★★★★ "If you have any interest in cinema – or, for that matter, in art, economics, politics, drama, literature or history – then you need to watch 12 Years a Slave" - Mark Kermode, The Guardian