Dear Steve McQueen,
Your film 12 Years A Slave has hit me like a ton of bricks. It is still resonating with me now and hours have past since I saw the film. It will not leave me. I have never been so terribly uncomfortable during film as I was watching this one.
The unconfrontable, uncomfortable, horrible truth that you so eloquently tell in this film is so tremendously and beautifully sad. It left me hollow inside. I almost couldn’t bear to watch all of it. But I had to see it to the end. I had to know that it was worth it. That this man made it back to his family and that they were all whole somehow again.
Slavery will forever be the albatross around Americas neck for as long as we all, as a country, choose to ignore its heritage and influence that still lingers in the air that we breathe on this soil. It will never truly be gone till that day.
There is no greater horror or evil that humans can inflict on one another than enslavement. I don’t pretend to compare myself or my story to that of Solomon or the millions that were enslaved and killed and tortured, but my own experience, being used in an indentured servitude, and being treated, minus the whipping but close to it, much the way Solomon was I understood completely how he felt walking toward that carriage. Walking, struggling to walk toward freedom. Not believing it was real, and part of him, trying to hold him there.
No film, no story, has ever captured what that feels like, to truly lose yourself, to believe you are nothing, no one, worthless and have no hope and then show what it is to gain that back like this film did.
Thank you for making this movie and telling this lost story. Everyone needs to see this film, to know this story, to understand it so that we can once and for all unshackle ourselves as a people and as a nation from slavery.