The main protagonist of 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor happened to be the star actor at the Baftas in 2014. He received the coveted award for best actor for playing a captive in Steve McQueen’s memorable movie on slavery.
Solomon Northup is a black from New York who gets caught and sold into slavery in the Southern states. From there on it is indeed a fine story that the movie narrates through images and speech.
12 Years a Slave snatched victory from its rival movie which was Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The two stranded astronauts in outer space portray a NASA mission gone wrong.
And while the special effects necessary to depict the harrowing experience of the space travelers is no mean feat, it is the actual conditions of degrading slavery on earth that caught the attention of the audience. 12 Years a Slave wins over the competition hands down.
In fact, Chiwetel Ejiofor surpassed the likes of Leonardio DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Tom Hanks and Bruce Dern. He was the best and his words resonated with the crowd. He had the humility to thank Steve McQueen for everything.
As a matter of fact, Ejiofor said that the award belonged to Steve but that he would keep it for him. He termed the award an incredible achievement. Ejiofor spoke of how the story behind the movie was truly inspirational and that the values it exposed were an object lesson in the human condition.
The man who played Solomon Northup thanked everybody who made the film a possibility. Originally, Ejiofor had been reluctant to play a major role in the movie for fear that he would botch it up. But then he changed his mind and the rest as they say is history.