《十二年奴隸》是一部關注19世紀美國奴役的電影。這是英國著名導演史蒂夫·麥昆（Steve McQueen）的作品。它于2013年制作，獲得了許多不同的重要獎項，例如奧斯卡獎和金球獎。故事是根據真實的事件。主要人物叫索羅門·諾斯達普（Solomon Northup），曾經是一個免費的受過教育的人，住在紐約，以小提琴演奏為生。 Northup和他的妻子有兩個孩子，他們幸福地生活在那里。一天，兩次白人欺詐，由一份薪水豐厚的兼職工作將諾瑟普（Northup）困在華盛頓。最后，他們將Northup交給了奴隸販子Burch。 Northup遭受了大刀闊斧，被迫接受他的新名字普拉特（Platt）作為奴隸。然后，Northup被種植園主人威廉·福特（William Ford）先生收購。他在那里做worked夫，為福特的種植園提供了很大的幫助。因此，監督者羨慕諾瑟普。為了保護自己的生命，福特不得不將Northup賣給另一位可怕的大師Edwin Epps。在那里，諾瑟普不得不當棉花采摘者。他不擅長于細致的手指操作，經常被大師毆打。在埃德溫·埃普斯（Edwin Epps）的棉花種植園中，有一個叫做帕特西（Patsey）的女奴隸。她被迫成為Epps的性奴隸，并且不得不忍受Epps和他的妻子的身心折磨。因此，帕特西懇求諾斯阿普殺死她，然后將其埋葬。 Northup拒絕了，因為他認為殺死Patsey是犯罪行為。 Epps的棉花種植園受到蠕蟲的影響后，Northup被送往更好的大師特納法官。他在那里做甘蔗剪。在特納（Turner）的推薦下，諾斯普（Northup）在種植園主的聚會中拉小提琴并賺了一些錢。 Northup試圖將這封信寫給他的家人，但他再次遭到兩名白人的欺騙。最終，諾斯upup建造Epps房屋時，遇到了加拿大木匠巴斯。他寄給諾斯·阿普的信，最后這封信救了諾斯·阿普。
12 Years a Slave is a film focusing on the slavery of America in the 19th century. It is a work of a famous English director, Steve McQueen. Made in 2013, it wins many different kinds of important awards, such as the Oscars and the Golden Globe Award. The story is based on the true event. The main figure, named Solomon Northup, was once a free educated man living in New York and lived on violin playing. Northup and his wife had two children, and they lived there happily. One day, two white frauds, trapped Northup to Washington by a well-paid part-time job. At last, they delivered Northup to Burch, a slave seller. Northup suffered slash and was compelled to accept his new name as a slave, Platt. Then Northup was bought by a plantation owner, William Ford, a kind gentleman. He worked there as a woodcutter and gave a great help to Ford’s plantation. Due to this, Northup was envied by the overseer. In order to protect his life, Ford had to sell Northup to another terrible master, Edwin Epps. There, Northup had to work as a cotton picker. He was not good at such detailed fingers work and was often beaten by the master. In Edwin Epps’ cotton plantation, there was a female slave called Patsey. She was obliged to be a sex slave of Epps and had to endure torture on both mental and body from Epps and his wife. Therefore, Patsey begged Northup to kill her and then bury her. Northup refused because he thought killing Patsey was criminal. After Epps’ cotton plantation influenced by the worms, Northup was sent to Judge Turner, a better master. He worked there as a sugar cane cutter. With the recommendation of Turner, Northup played violin in the plantation owners’ party and earned some money. Northup tried to write the letter to his families but he was cheated again by two white men. At last, when Northup constructed the house of Epps, he encountered a Canada carpenter, Bass. He sent the letter for Northup, and this letter saved Northup at last.
這部電影講述了一個奴隸獲得自由的漫長過程。實際上，它通過講故事來表達更多內容。由于Northup的故事與許多不同的人物有關，因此對不同種類的白人大師的描述表明了白人在當時處于優勢地位的想法。例如，諾瑟普（Northup）的第一任主人威廉·福特（William Ford）代表接受奴隸制的善良白人，但他們對奴隸很友善，因為他們需要他們工作。第二位大師埃德溫·埃普斯（Edwin Epps）是極端思想持有者的一個例子，他們認為黑人與他們不同，而他們天生就像動物一樣工作。在這些之后，導演討論了這項工作中自由的定義。對于不同的人，自由一詞意味著不同的事情。諾斯upup工作并忍受了許多痛苦，以重新獲得自由人的身份。他一直希望能回家。對于Patsey而言，自由意味著殺死她并盡快結束她的悲慘生活。導演向我們展示了主人用鞭子毆打奴隸的場景。從這些場景中，可以清楚地看到奴隸的真實生活。這樣的鏡頭使觀眾生氣并充滿同情心。當觀眾重新思考人們推翻奴隸制所遇到的困難時，自由就會被珍惜。這是導演制作這部電影的目的之一。另一點是勇敢者的不懈精神的斗爭。在電影的結尾，導演設計了加拿大木匠巴斯和奴隸主Epps之間的對話。他們為黑人和白人之間的分歧激烈爭吵。導演表明，與種族差異有關的主題當時是有爭議的，這種爭吵對于巴斯制定規則的過程很有價值。
This film tells the long difficult process of a slave retrieving his freedom. Actually, it expresses much more content by telling a story. Since the story of Northup is related to many different figures, the description of different kinds of white masters shows the ideas that the white men are in a superior position at that time. For example, Northup’s first master, William Ford represents the kind white men who accept the slavery, but they are kind to the slaves because they need them to work. The second master, Edwin Epps is an example of the extreme idea holders who thought that black men are different from them and they are born to work like animals. Following these, the director discusses the definition of freedom in this work. For different people, the word freedom means different things. Northup worked and endured so many pains to regain his identity as a free man. He always had the hope to go back home. While for Patsey, freedom means killing her and ending her miserable life as soon as possible. The director shows us the scene that the masters beat their slaves with whipping ropes. From these scenes, the real lives of slaves are clearly shown. Such shots make the viewers angry and full of compassion. When the viewers can rethink the difficulties that men encountered to overthrow the slavery, freedom will be cherished. This is one of the purposes that the director made this film. Another point is the struggle of the indefatigable spirit of the brave men. At the end of the film, the director designs a conversation between the Canada carpenter Bass and slave owner Epps. They quarreled fiercely about the differences between black men and white men. The director shows that the themes related the racial differences were controversial at that time and such quarrels were valuable to the development of the rules from Bass.
在這部電影中，有許多與美國歷史有關的情節。首先，諾斯杜普（Northup）的故事始于1841年。那時，奴隸制已被完全廢除。 Northup最初有機會自由生活。 1841年，在佐治亞州被指控逃離諾斯普普（Northup）的佐治亞州，仍然有奴隸為他們的主人工作，而且奴隸的人數甚至更多。根據詹姆斯等人的觀點，“……地區差異隨著時間的流逝而增加，這不僅是因為南方越來越多地被奴隸制所統治，而且還因為北方的發展迅速將其推向了一個截然不同的方向”（356）。其次，Northup在不同的種植園工作，這表明不同地方的經濟和農業發展。 Northup首先是一名wood夫和原木運輸商。此后，他在一家棉花種植機工作，因為在1880年代，南美的棉花產業發展迅速。第三，奴隸主至少有兩個場景教育他們的奴隸。所有的奴隸主都喜歡讀圣經，以使奴隸接受自己卑鄙的身份和命運。但是，他們永遠不允許奴隸讀寫，因為奴隸認為接受教育就無法控制奴隸。最后但并非最不重要的一點是，Northup的艱難訴求改變了他回到家后的休息時間。該部分在電影中已被省略，但結果在電影結尾處用副標題“在紐約進行了漫長的法律程序后，他的綁架者漢密爾頓和布朗也避免了起訴”來表示（McQueen，2013年）。為捍衛自己的人權，黑人遭受了數百年的歧視。與他們身上的酷刑相比，長期的法律訴訟要求更大的勇氣，毅力和智慧。兩名綁架者避免受到起訴的結果使我感到震驚。修改法律也是董事在這種情況下試圖討論的重點。廢奴法是逐步完成的。在此過程中，許多人致力于這些進步。
In this film, there are many plots related to the US history. Firstly, Northup’s story began in 1841. At that time, the slavery had been abolished completely. Northup originally had the chance to live as a free man. While in 1841 in Georgia, where Northup was accused run away from, there were still slaves working for their owners, and the number had even grown larger. According to James et al., “…Regional differences increased over time, not merely because the South became more and more dominated by slavery, but also because developments in the North rapidly propelled it in a very different direction” (356). Secondly, Northup worked in different plantations, which showed the economic and agriculture development in different place. Northup first worked as a woodcutter and log transporter. After that, he worked for a cotton planter because, in the 1880s, the cotton industry in South American developed quickly. Thirdly, there were at least two scenes of the slave owners educating their slaves. All the slave owners liked to read Bible to their labors in order to make slaves accept their lower identity and their fate. However, they never permit their slaves to read and write, because the slaves think that they cannot control the slaves if they accept education. Last but not least, the difficult appeal of Northup changed his rest life after he was back to home. This part had been omitted in the movie, but the result was presented at the end of the film by subtitles, “After lengthy legal proceedings in New York, his kidnappers Hamilton and Brown also avoided prosecution” (McQueen, 2013). Fighting for their own human right, the black men suffered centuries of discrimination. Comparing with the torture on their bodies, the long period of legal proceeding requires for much more braveness, perseverance, and wisdom. I am shocked by the result that the two kidnappers avoid being prosecuted. The revision of the law is also a point that the director tries to discuss in such condition. The Abolitionist Laws are completed step by step. During this process, numerous people devoted themselves to these progress.
I like this film very much. The details of slaves’ life presented by it give me a real feeling of the labors, which is similar to a famous Chinese writer I have ever read, XiaYan’ non-fiction literature work Baoshen’gong. I am really moved by Northup’s tears running. When he was obliged to splash Patsey, he had tears of compassion. When he buried another slave and sang songs for him together with all the slaves, he had tears of depression. When he went back home and saw his married daughter, he had tears of a very complex emotion. It was not only a feeling of happiness, excitement, but also a sensation of the difficult time he had experienced. For most people, twelve years in one’s whole life mean the most important period. Northup is honorable because he is always with hope and never gives up fighting for freedom. I would like to recommend it to my classmates because they can understand the true meaning of life from this film. The slavery had been abolished, but I do not think that the unfair discrimination completely disappears in the United States.
James L Roark, J. L., Johnson, M. P., Cohen, P. C., Stage, S., &Hartmann, S. M. The American Promise: A Concise History. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. 2013
McQueen, Steve, director. 12 year a slave, Fox Searchlight Pictures.2013