12 Years A Slave is an instant classic in my eyes, even if I base that purely on one thing. You see, there have only ever been 2 films I’ve seen in my life that have not just bought tears to my eyes, or maybe a slight sob, but instead actual pure unabashed cry filled emotion, that being Grave Of The Fireflies and American: The Bill Hicks Story, which I both rate as two of my top 10 films of all time. And well, with the amount of tears 12 Years A Salve made me shed during it, and the dash to the toilets at the end of it where I broke down quietly in a cubical, says to me this is one of the best films ever made.
Slavery is of course an abhorrent thing, and we don’t need films to tell us this, but what films can do is take those feelings many steps further into a place that changes you at your core about all things bad and negative in life. Which is exactly what this film did, as not only did it bring up anger in me towards religion, society, apathy, bigotry, racism, discrimination, and so many other things, but it also made me really angry at myself for any negativeness I’ve ever created or helped fester in this world.
There’s no way I could have worked on this film, as I would have blubbered my way through most of the film, as I bet many of the people involved in it did, as it did bring up many feelings of shame. I don’t mean white man’s shame, as let’s be honest, slavery is not only a white man’s game, as it’s been going on for tens of thousands of years, be they white, black, or any colour in between, and it still goes on today. But despite that, being a white middle class male, would have just sent me into a deep dark place on that set.
Now, I really enjoyed Gravity, Philomenia, and especially The Wolf Of Wall Street, but this film is more than likely going to walk away with every award at the Oscars this year, and it will deserve every single one of them!
Now, as I sit here still hiding in a toilet cubical as I write this review, my main concern is if I can get from here to the car without thinking about the film and breaking down again.
10 out of 10 from me!!!