- Steve McQueen
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye
Based on the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York sold to a ruthless slave owner (Michael Fassbender) in Louisiana during the 1840s, the film follows Solomon’s extraordinary life from artistic ascendency (he was an accomplished violinist before being kidnapped) to depths of despair no human being should have to endure. McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley have found in Solomon a timely figure whose perseverance through unimaginable adversity has been buried in the history books yet which now gets its due on the big screen, and in Ejiofor the ideal actor to make that legacy more widely known. Gritty and uncompromising, this is more than a film; it’s a learning moment.
The film’s cast include Cornell alumna Adepero Oduye.