Country: USA, UK
the torture porn genre gets a lot of flak, but this film shows that it can be high art as well as the “low art” of films like saw and hostel. i never saw mel gibson’s jesus movie, but that got some critical acclaim and it also fit into the torture porn genre. this is probably a better film.
unlike selma, 12 years a slave is worthy of its praise and worthy of a best picture win. from what i’ve seen it was the best of the films nominated that year. it’s not overwrought, pretentious and sanctimonious. it’s a film about a guy who endured an awful injustice and the conceit does as much to show what slavery is about as anything else (roots included).
it’s immensely depressing, but it’s a good film and you should probably watch it once. just like you should watch schindler’s list once. there are a million films about the holocaust and slavery but those two are the ones you need to watch before swearing off the topic.