12 Years A Slave

Director: Steve McQueen
134 mins Film4 Archive

In pre-Civil War United States, a free man is abducted and sold into slavery. 12 Years A Slave is the third collaboration between Film4 and director Steve McQueen, following Hunger and Shame.

12 Years A Slave is based on the incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.


12 Years A Slave won 3 Academy Awards in 2014: Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress. It was also nominated for Best Director, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Costume Design and Production Design.