FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #38 – “12 Years a Slave” (dir. Steve McQueen)

Poster for "12 Years a Slave"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel witness the harrowing new film from director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave, based on a memoir by kidnapped slave Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Featuring one of the most sprawling and talented casts of the year, this film proved to be absolutely essential viewing. Check out our discussion below (53:09).

May contain some NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 9.5 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode includes the tracks “Roll Jordan Roll” and “Solomon” from the soundtrack and score to the film. To hear the other Hans Zimmer track that came to mind during this film, check out “Time” from the original score to Inception.
  • The banality of evil” is a historical concept and phrase from Hannah Arendt‘s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and is not without controversy. Curiously, Northup expressed a similar idea near the end of his memoir, which can be read at the end of the NY Times article below.
  • Eric Herschthal wrote a fascinating article for the NY Times on the veracity of the memoir and real-life story: The Passion of Solomon Northup
  • The audio lecture series we referred to from The Great Courses is “The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World,” from Colgate University history professor Robert Garland.

Listen above, or download: 12 Years a Slave (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)