12 Years a Slave film response

Directions: The expectation for these film responses is that you will formulate a specific answer to the prompt that clearly demonstrates that you did watch and understand the film. This will require referencing specific scenes as evidence to support your overall original interpretation. You should reference 2-3 specific scenes when answering the prompt. When possible, try to make connections between the events in the movie to the broader historical context. Consider questions such as: How is this scene/event/interaction reflective of a major topic of the time period? What might be left out of the scene or movie that impacts what the viewers take away from it? Is the movie overall helpful in understanding the historical accuracy of the time period, or does it have the potential to be misleading?
Choose ONE of the following two prompts to address:
1) Consider the role of women, both free and enslaved, in the system of slavery. How are the differences in experiences between someone like Patsy, and someone like Mrs. Epps, portrayed in the film? Are white women as equally responsible for the brutality of slavery as white men? What are some of the advantages or disadvantages that enslaved women might have when compared to enslaved men?
2) One of the distinguishing features of 12 Years a Slave, and the memoir of Solomon Northup that it is based on, is that the author/protagonist is born free rather than enslaved. How does this affect the perspective of the film, and how might it impact what viewers take away from it? How do the experiences of Solomon throughout the film compare to those he encounters who was born enslaved? How might this impact the overall message of the film?

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