October 18, 2013
REVIEW: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Turns Real Events Surreal
Midway through Steve McQueen’s masterpiece 12 Years a Slave, I began consoling myself that at least I am descended from the good whites in the north. I don’t have a drop of southern blood in me, unless you count my Australian mother, but in that case I too am descended from slaves, in a sense. What the founders of Australia endured just in the transportation from Britain to the colonies Down Under, often for the pettiest of crimes (if they were guilty of them in the first place), was as arduous as and far longer than the journey from Africa.
After seeing Peter Weir’s Gallipoli (1981) in London, my maternal grandmother stood up and shouted at the audience, “You see what you did, you pommy bastards?”