Twelve Years a Slave
Tricked by two men offering him a job as a musician in New York State in 1841, Solomon Northup was drugged and kidnapped. His life in jeopardy, he was forced to assume a new name and fake past. Taken to Louisiana on a disease-ridden plague ship, he was initially sold to a cotton planter. In the twelve years that follow he is sold to many different owners who treat him with varying levels of savagery, forced labour, scant food and numerous beatings are his regular fare. Against all odds, Northup eventually succeeds in contacting a sympathetic party and manages to get word to his family. The ensuing rescue and legal cases are no less shocking and intriguing than the rest of the tale. Northups meticulous first-hand recordings of slave life provide a true-life testament to tremendous courage and tenacity in the face of unfathomable injustice. A new film premiering in 2014, featuring Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch, is sure to introduce this amazing story to a new audience.
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