The movie 12 years a Slave tells the brutal story of Solomon Northup’s time as a slave, particularly under the brutal master Edwin Epps who regularly beat his ‘property’ for various offences. One slave, Patsey, received particularly sadistic treatment and this film is a hard, hard watch.
One thing we may bear in mind with this movie is that it’s not so much a period piece but a story that continues to this day. There are thought to be more slaves globally now than when Wilberforce campaigned and fought for their freedom. Somewhere around 30 million. Many slaves are sold into the sex industry and Nefarious: Merchant of Souls is a telling documentary which reveals the stories of some of these modern day slaves.
12 Years a Slave is not the kind of film you sit and watch with coke and popcorn. It’s a story that goes on. Solomon broke free with the courageous help of others. Nefarious ends with a plea to do three things that Wilberforce did. To pray, to make others aware and to support those fighting for freedom. International Justice Mission is one of many groups fighting for an end to the misery of highly organized trafficking and abuse.