12 years A Slave
Directed by Steve McQueen
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, the New York State citizen who was kidnapped and made to work on a plantation in New Orleans in the 1800s. Steve McQueen directs from a script he co-wrote with John Ridley, based in part by Northup's memoir. Southern whites of the pre-Civil War plantation aristocracy believed themselves God’s chosen, the masters were the madmen, inferior but in charge. You will cringe at every punishment, feel each slur, with an immediacy that makes the long-ago, “institution” of slavery sting like a whiplash.