Walker Art Center

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12 Years a Slave

Directed by Steve McQueen, Regional Premiere

Part of Steve McQueen: A Dialogue and Retrospective

“This epic account of an unbreakable soul makes even Scarlett O’Hara’s struggles seem petty by comparison.” —Variety

Steve McQueen’s newest feature is based on the true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom, as chronicled in the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northup—a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. “Initially a settled family man living in New York, Northup [Chiwetel Ejiofor] eventually faces one bleak reality after another like an accidental war journalist dropped into the center of the trenches, and we’re right there with him” (Indiewire).

The film’s powerful international cast includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Paul Dano. Produced by locally-based River Road Productions, 12 Years a Slave screens at the Telluride, Toronto, and New York film festivals and opens in theaters in Minneapolis on November 1, following this regional premiere at the Walker Cinema (2013, DCP, 133 minutes).

Dig deeper: Read Rob Nelson’s essay, “Steve McQueen’s Truth and Beauty.”


This Dialogue and Retrospective Program is made possible by generous support from Anita and Myron Kunin.