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12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen defends its violence

DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen (PA)

BRITISH DIRECTOR Steve McQueen has defended his depiction of brutality in the eagerly awaited film 12 Years A Slave based on the memoir that exposed the inner workings of slavery in the 19th century.

In an interview with the BBC, McQueen, who directed films Hunger and Shame, explained his reasons behind making the harrowing film about New York family man Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) being kidnapped into slavery in 1841, stripped of his identify given a new name and sent south to plantations in Louisiana.

He said: “I just wanted to make a film about slavery because it hasn’t been looked at before really in depth, so it was a gaping hole in film history and I thought to myself that I wanted to investigate and have a look.”

The film, produced by Brad Pitt who also has a small part in it, is already being tipped as a front-runner for next year’s Oscar race.

The title's leading actor Ejiofor said: “Because it is from inside the slave experiences, that it’s not a observer, it’s somebody – and a voice coming out, deep inside the experiences, that is what I think to me makes it so completely unique.”

McQueen believes that slavery already exists in the American people’s consciousness therefore “to have an outlet, a vehicle for their voice, I think has made the film a torch in a way.”

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