Monday, November 25, 2013


     Steve McQueen's 12 YEARS A SLAVE is an example of brilliant and ethical film making. It could be one of the most important films made.  Why?  Because it immerses the viewer in a vivid reality that must be embraced so the lessons are forever remembered and never repeated.
    This puts the hateful, ignorant, violent and destructive nature of American slavery out there with a force that crushes.  Yet the powerful dignity of humanity survives, carried in the heart of a man who is done so many wrongs and injustices you wish you could put your hands on the slavers, plantation owners and other allies of that horrible part of our history. 
    The acting is superb and the film making so extraordinary that you become an emotional captive of that era. You may never encounter cinema villains that provoke such dark rage in your heart. This film gathers you into a time and culture that enslaves your sense of hope and leaves you desperate as to how any human, let alone American citizens, could think, act and behave in such vile, brutal and evil ways, even while spouting Christianity. 
     We've all "studied" slavery, but we've never seen a window into that horrible human enterprise like this. Every performance was masterful and contributed to the stark approximation of truth, as history. Chiwetel Ejiofor who portrays the real man, Solomon Northrop must be a candidate for the Oscar.  His performance of the true life journey, while fighting desperately to retain dignity is something you'll never forget, nor are you likely ever to put away the frank retelling of a time in our past that should haunt us forever. 
                                  American Legacy
                        THE MODERN PROPHET
    Even now, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remains a man of controversy. I revere his devotion to equality and his sacrificial leadership. To some, his memorial is controversial, but in my judgement it is appropriate, powerful and inspirational.

  Your approach to what appears to be a mountain leads you past this inscription from which Dr. King appears to emerge as you walk around it.

      At the time of his leadership I thought he was courageous and eloquent. Now his vision and sense of justice stand to challenge contemporary struggles.

      Despite the gains Dr. King helped to win, bigotry still
lurks and faith is perverted to target others who are "different."
      If I could bend cosmic reality or write an eternal script or even requisition a Divine justice, I'd have those slavers, plantation owners, overseers, racists, Klansmen, bigots, bullies, and their kind, through all time, sentenced to an eternity of undoing every bull whip strike, beating, lynching, rape, torment, hateful word, denial of liberty, separation of family, discriminatory law, humiliation, enslavement, fire hosing, bus and church bombing, demonstrator beating, and every vile and denigrating word spoken. Forever, they would be bound to such undoing. 
      The ages must be grateful for those who endured and who could still forgive. We can overcome. We should remember.
     See you down the trail.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I shared your enthusiasm for the Martin Luther King Memorial but I do not. He is presented as autocratic and arrogant, an absolute Ozymandias. His crossed arms keep people at a distance which is hardly appropriate. Of course I've yet to see it in person so it's possible my opinion could change.