Revisiting an important time in history

As we gear up for the Academy Awards season, the talk of the moment is 12 Years a Slave – a film which will hit UK cinemas on 28 January and  follows the story of Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1840s.  Already nominated for seven Golden Globes, critics appear unanimous in heralding it as a great film, possibly even the greatest film about slavery, although opinions divide where it comes to the violence depicted on screen. Some say it is too graphic (apparently some viewers have walked out of cinemas), others praise it for showing the true horror of slavery at that time. Based on Solomon’s memoir, which shares the same title, the film has also drawn attention to a period of history which the director Steve McQueen claims has been ignored by Hollywood. In a recent interview with Sky News he highlighted that there were few films that featured slavery as a central theme, only a handful which include Mandingo, Roots, Django Unchained and Amistad. Read more in The Times here…

12 Years a Slave

This talk surrounding the film has in fact made me realise that I have inadvertently neglected this period of history too. Allison & Busby published the book Amistad, by David Pesci and am pleased to say we will be reissuing it in April this year (with the ebook out next month). It is about one of America’s first civil rights battles involving  fifty-three African slaves who staged a bloody mutiny on board the Amistad, a Spanish slaver from Cuba, and I’ll be putting it down on my must-read list. I’ll certainly be adding all the above films to my must-see list too.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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