"There are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here now...I hope that, 150 years from now, our ambivalence will not allow another filmmaker to make this film" - Steve McQueen on accepting his BAFTA for Best Director of critically- and commercially-acclaimed film, 12 Years A Slave.
This evening's BAFTAs have brought a multitude of ideas and thoughts and opinions to the front of my mind which cannot (unfortunately) be distilled into one eloquently-written essay (but will serve inspiration for upcoming commentaries within this project, no doubt). Instead, I shall direct you to the thoughts of writer Musa Okwonga's on one of the most talked-about films of 2013/2014, 12 Years A Slave.
An excerpt of his essay, and link to the original New Statesman-published piece, is below:
"As I wandered out into the foyer, I stopped to speak with an elderly black steward, who saw me out with a smile and a slow shake of the head. “Ha,” he said, offering perhaps the most fitting review that 12 Years A Slave will receive. “I don’t like to watch such things.” Me neither: but if we're not yet fully aware of the extent of slavery's evil both past and present, then, perhaps, watch them we must."