12 Years a Slave is based on Solomon Northup memoir Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton Plantation near the Red River in Louisiana published in 1853. Solomon Northup was born a free man in New York in 1807. His father was born into slavery, but was freed after his master’s death. Solomon Northup, as a free man, worked odd jobs and was a notable fiddler. Like the title of his memoir suggests, he was kidnapped in 1841 and brought down to Louisiana to work at a cotton plantation until he was freed twelve years later. It’s a rather sad, but very true story of slavery before the Civil War. Consultants were hired to ensure it remained authentic, but some liberties were taken (it’s a movie after all).
This film was nominated for five awards winning three of five, which included Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lupita Nyong’o).
If you haven’t read the memoir, it is available for free. Click here for a previous post on how you can get it for free on your device.
I’m pasting a featurette below on the making of the film below.
And as always, I’m including a trailer.