12 Years A Slave
Business as usual. Once a nigger, always a nigger.
Film Review © 2013 by Trip Reynolds
Directed by Steve McQueen (he's Black and British, not the legendary White actor who's dead); Screenplay by John Ridley and Solomon Northup (based on his book).
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the stupid, timid, fiddle playing nigger), Michael Fassbender (as slave owner Edwin Epps a.k.a. "Willie Lynch"), Sarah Paulson (as the White bitch, "Mistress Epps," who Edwin fucks only after having fucked and beat the shit out of his negress bitch, Patsey); Lupita Nyong'o (as Edwin Epps' whipping-post negress fuck-bitch, Patsey) and Brad Pitt (as Bass, the good White guy).
Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as Solomon Northup ranged from being the stupid and cowardly nigger (a.k.a. Stepin Fetchit) to rare occasions of demonstrating some meager backbone against his White masters. Notably, Northup's ultimate freedom was not of his doing, but only made possible as a result of a White man, a former colleague, from the north. Again, it's an historical fact that many Blacks fought back and actually killed White people to regain their freedom; so, where's that movie? Instead, we sit through two-(2) hours and fourteen-(14) minutes watching a Black man grovel before White men and White women. Yada, yada, yada. Keep in mind, Solomon was a smart nigger, a literate nigger, so he knew the international slave trade was prohibited in 1808, but it actually continued even after Solomon regained his freedom! So, prior to being enslaved, did it never occur to Northup of the blatant stupidity and danger of living in a country where, in 1837, one-half (13) of all (26) U.S. states enslaved people who looked liked him? Dummy.
Patsey desparately wanted Solomon to kill her in order to free her from the constant beatings of Edwin and Mistress Epps, and from being repeatedly raped by Edwin. Solomon rejected Patsey's plaintive appeal by responding, "No" and turned his back to Patsey and went to sleep. Then, later in the film, Solomon is told to severely whip Patsey, or if he refused, Master Edwin would kill all of his niggras. Of course, Solomon whipped the shit out of Patsey. Was there any artistic or socially redeeming quality about this film? Well, the picture quality was nice and clear, and crisp, and we could easily see the whip lash rip deep patches of skin from Patsey's back. Oh yeah, let's not forget those typical scenes where we get to look at the naked niggra women and their tits, nipples and big Black asses on the slave block. Gee whiz, kinda makes you proud to be a nigger, right?
QUESTION: Do films like "12 Years A Slave" or "Glory" (1989) or "Amistad" (1997) really function as entertainment, or education, or both?
RESPONSE: Looking at the big picture, it doesn't matter, because ultimately the purpose of these films is to make money. Just over a decade ago, the U.S. entertainment industry was the second largest export industry following the aerospace industry (Source: Sandrine Cahn & Daniel Schmimmel, The Cultural Exception). Even today, nearly sixty-(60) percent of film revenue is from foreign countries. Clearly, by exporting films like "12 Years A Slave," White people relish the opportunity to repeatedly tell the whole world how the U.S. successfully controlled and managed its niggers, and guess what, White people are still doing it! The plantation system evolved to become the reservation system for Native Americans. Adolf Hitler learned from it, and along with other tactics employed by advocates of eugenics, he eliminated six-(6) million Jews, which is only a drop in the ocean when compared to the tens of millions of Blacks/Africans that died directly as a result of slavery during the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
QUESTION: After being educated about the horrors and impact of slavery through niggra slave films, have White people demonstrated any significant change in their dealing with Black people to prompt social change?
RESPONSE: HELL, NO! There are more Black men in prision now than the total number of Black men held captive during slavery! Source: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. White Americans make up only 64% of the U.S. population, but possess 90% of all wealth. For every dollar in assets owned by Whites in the United States, Blacks own less than a nickel, a racial divide that is wider than South Africa’s at any point during the apartheid era. Source: Matt Bruenig of Demos
The Civil War, which occurred from April 12, 1861 to May 10, 1865, was less about slavery and more about how and who was going to control the economic might of the U.S., and it pitted White people against White people. These "slave films" intentionally and maliciously paint all White people, like Edwin Epps, as evil, which is completely untrue. Brad Pitt, who also served as one of the film's executive producers, had a cameo role as Bass, a good guy, who just happened to be White, which prompts the following observation. Given the religious themes that permeate the film, both historically and now, if more White people simply followed the "golden rule" (Matthew 7:12) and "Do to others what you want them to do to you," slavery would never existed. Unfortunately, "12 Years A Slave" is yet another slave film that documents the "usual and customary" hypocrisy of slaves praying to the same God their White slave owners used to justify beating them, raping them, and killing them. Today, millions of church-going White people do exactly like their ancestors - they intentionally distance themselves from ongoing oppression and discrimination against Black people, and they pray to a God that embraces the concept of "separate but equal," while also thanking God for the many privileges they mandated and retain over Black people. In addition to being compliant to Willie Lynch-isms, for Black people to believe any religious crap is nothing less than vile and contemptible brainwashing. Fuck religion. Yeah, I said it.
The Genghis Khan Complex: What has history taught us? White people have power and wealth and they're going to keep it - until someone takes it away from them.
As with the recent slate of blatantly pretentious "never-forget-niggers-were-slaves-flims" like Steven Spielberg's 2012 "Lincoln," and Quentin Tarantino's 2012 "Django Unchained," this outing does not function as entertainment, and provides absolutely no information of any particular value. As stated in my 2003 review of "Bad Boys II," NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: My last name is Reynolds (taken from my family's previous slave owner), and barely 148 years ago my ancestors were slaves on the R.J. Reynolds tobacco plantation - the plantation that sold my Great-Grandfather's brothers, Harry and John, into slavery and he never saw his brothers again! My Great-Grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Reynolds, Sr. hated White people for selling his brothers. We're NOT your niggers anymore, and I don't need your White owned and White controlled films (even those made by or starring your brainwashed niggers) to continually remind me of your oppression of Black people! It's an historical fact that many Blacks fought back and actually killed White people to regain their freedom - where's that movie??? Instead, Hollywood has again confined its show-and-tell to focus on Blacks (oops! correction . . . ) to focus on niggers being whipped and beaten and rapped and killed. As perfectly captured in "12 Years A Slave," nigger literally means "I WILL FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOU UP; I WILL KILL YOU; I WILL CASTRATE YOU; I WILL RAPE YOU; YOUR LIFE AND THE LIFE OF YOUR FAMILY MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!" Ironically, it's typical for me to never hear the word "nigger" until I go to the movies or turn on the radio where nigger rappers continue to be in vogue. Today's hip hop generation don't get it, but "Nigger" is not a term of endearment. There's a perpetual "YOU'RE ALWAYS BE A NIGGER" message with these films, and I don't fuckin' like it.
Getting a Black British man (Steve McQueen) to function as director, and a Black British man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to function as lead actor does nothing to give credibility to this film; even worse, here we have outsiders attempting to peer into the atrocity represented by slavery. Despite the tepid racism in Britian, British "niggers" don't have a clue to the ongoing inpact of slavery, the injustice and hatred against Black people in the United States, and especially how this White hatred against Black people continues to be exported throughout the world. No matter how you spin it, no matter what you think, White people in the United States will NEVER ever establish a country with equality and justice for people of color. If you don't belive me, go to any Indian Reservation and see for yourself . . . living conditions as bad or worse than many third-world nations.
Now, some White people, especially those working in minimum wage jobs and struggling to live from paycheck-to-paycheck wrongly believe the impact of slavery is over, that we're living in a post-slavery world of full equality and equal opportunity, and the scales of justice are fully balanced. Here's the problem with that kind of crazy thinking, depending on the metropolitan area, there are 5 to 10+ unemployed Black men for every 1 employed White man, and it's getting worse, not better. And don't bring up the failure of Black men to obtain a high school diploma and/or college education as the basis for ongoing racial oppression, because White people have consistently been in complete control (access, funding, books, location, curriculum, teachers, discipline, etc.) of the education of Black people since before and after the civil war! Since the formation of the United States in 1776, for 237 years the educational performance of Black students has never equaled the performance of White students in any of the 50 states! Never! Over 50% of Black males fail to graduate from the majority of urban high schools, while White controlled public and private colleges and universities generate most of their major revenue through "slave labor" scholarship recruitment of Black male students to carry a football or shoot a basketball. It's extremely difficult to succeed in a system that's counterproductive to your own well-being. And before you bring up the ascension of Barack Obama and other "tokens," please take time to recognize the role of a token (i.e., "to go along to get along") when you see one. Gee whiz people, if you think the U.S. is a better place because a (token) half-Black, half-White man is President of the United States, then you're missing a key reason why many White people don't like President Obama: FACT - Interracial marriages did not become legal throughout the U.S. until 1967 (Loving v. Virginia). President Obama was "illegally" born to an interracial couple on August 4, 1961. In keeping with the "theme" of "12 Years A Slave," We gotta get that niggra outta da White House! Git a rope!
And don't think because White people, who exist as the overwhelming majority to unilaterally dictate U.S. policy, law, and enforcement, created "laws" against racism and expected compliance from their own ilk, because history proves this to be a total sham: the routine practice of the U.S. government to violate or blatantly ignore its treaties with soverign Native Americans nations; or The Civil Rights Act of 1865 that was designed to protect the civil rights of Blacks, in the wake of the American Civil War, but the Act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, so in April 1866 Congress again passed the bill, then President Johnson vetoed it again, until finally a two-thirds majority in each house overcame the veto and the bill became law; but White Americans ignored it which prompted the U.S. government to (yet again) pass another civil rights act, the Voting Rights of 1965, which must be renewed every 25 years (most recently in 2006 by President George Bush) just to make sure that White people don't discriminate against their niggras. GET THIS: Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Austria, then became a U.S. citizen in 1983, but neither he or any White people have ever required a "law" to tell other White people (again, every 25 years!) not to discriminate against them. It's called White privilege, and "12 Years A Slave" is ultimately about a highfalutin nigger who erroneously thought he also had privilege. Upon his enslavement, Solomon Northup quickly learned he was wrong, he was a nigger! Solomon took only a passive resistence to his enslavement, and if not for his rescue by a White man in 1853, he would have remained a slave until the end of the civil war, and his book would have been called, "24 Years A Slave!"
Unfortunately, some of you might think "12 Years A Slave" is something profound, something enlighting, which would be a mistake. Likewise, it's a mistake to ignore the following facts: WHITE PEOPLE ENSLAVED BLACKS, ROBBED THEM OF THEIR CULTURE, CONFINED THEM TO PLANTATIONS, ENACTED GENOCIDE UPON BLACKS WITH THE END OF SLAVERY, AND CONFINED BLACKS TO GHETTOES TO THIS VERY DAY; WHITE PEOPLE ENACTED GENOCIDE UPON NATIVE AMERICANS AND CONFINED THEM TO RESERVATIONS TO THIS VERY DAY; WHITE PEOPLE ROBBED LATINOS (I.E., WHICH INCLUDES SOME NATIVE AMERICANS) OF THEIR CULTURE AND LANGUAGE, AND THEN CONFINED THEM TO BARRIOS TO THIS VERY DAY; WHITE PEOPLE ROBBED ASIANS OF THEIR CULTURE AND CONFINED THEM TO CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND THEN CAST THEM AS "ACCEPTABLE" MINORITIES TO THIS VERY DAY - AND IF THE PAST IS ANY INDICATION OF THE FUTURE, AT THEIR DISCRETION, WHITE PEOPLE CAN (AND PROBABLY WILL TRY TO) DO IT ALL AGAIN! If you need proof, read "Whitopia" (pronounced: "White-o-pia") by Richard Benjamin and see for yourself.
"12 Years A Slave" is not entertaining or educational, and offers nothing of interest. Frankly, despite some minor artistic shortcomings, "Mandingo" from 1975 starring boxer Ken Norton is easily the better film to watch - it's interesting, entertaining, and educational. As expected, technical aspects for "12 Years A Slave" were solid, which was necessary given the poorly written script (by John Ridley who also poorly wrote 2012's "Red Tails" about the WWII Tuskegee Airmen Black pilots); which despite its autobiographical source was not written from the slave's point of view, but primarily from the slave owner's point of view as everything in the film was concocted to show how evil White men and their passive slaves, like Solomon Northup, perceived and manifest slavery upon Black people.
As I left the theater, I felt that omnipotent presence of ethnocentrism (White is right) that often comes from being "instructed" by White people. If you're a person of "color" you know what I'm talking about. You see, it's NOT okay to market the achievements of Black people (films like "Red Tails") in a major world-wide theatrical film release, but it's okay to market the slavery and oppression of Black people in a major world-wide theatrical film release. Get this:
In an interview on The Daily Show on January 9, 2012, George Lucas (who produced and financed "Rail Tails") stated that the long delay in the production of the film was because major film studios balked at financing and marketing a film with an "all-black" cast and "no major white roles." He went on to explain that studios receive "60% of their profit" from overseas, and the studios feel there is no market there for films with all-black casts. Red Tails is also the last film Lucasfilm made independently before being bought by The Walt Disney Company on October 30, 2012." Source: Wikipedia.
But do you realize that on a global scale, White people are a "minority race" in comparison to every other race on the planet? The majority of people on the planet are "people of color," but it remains the White ethnocentric belief that the marketing of "White culture" is the "right culture" to market to people of color! Oh, yeah, that's just sly, slick, and wicked.
McQueen's direction was uneven and unnecessarily prolonged, with too many pseudo-atmospheric still-shots that just lingered and added nothing. Plus, the stereotypical use of niggers (as usual) praying and singing is just fucking pathetic. Film should have been trimmed by at least 25 minutes.
Recommendation: The Final Word. Instead of spending millions of dollars making instructional films on how White people successfully engineered the slavery of Black people, and therefore labeling all White people as evil (which is ridiculous), a racially and socially aware Hollywood should wisely spend its money showing how Black and White people triumphed in their mutual appreciation of humanity. Let's move on. But if filmmakers must persist in producing this kind of crap, then in a word, "Netflix" it, or wait and grab a copy from the $5.00 bin at Walmart. Even better, if the intent is to create some social angst, producers should literally give "12 Years A Slave" away via download to all elementary schools, high schools, colleges and social organizations anywhere in the world. After all, given the desire to export American culture, and given the ongoing miserable state of actually "Being Black" in the U.S., the message of this film is loud and clear, "Once a nigger, always a nigger!"
Whatever you do, don't "click" the above photo!
P.S. Click here.