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Synopsis: 12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his release. The first scholarly edition of Northup's memoir, co-edited in 1968 by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon, carefully retraced and validated the account and concluded it to be accurate. Other characters in the film were also real people, including Edwin and Mary Epps, and Patsey.
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Year:
2013
11,264 Views

CARD:
1841

FADE IN:

1 INT. TOWNHOUSE/STUDY - DAY 1

-EARLY APRIL, 1841

We are close on a PAIR OF BLACK HANDS as they open AFINELY WRAPPED PACKET OF VIOLIN STRINGS.

WE CUT TO the hands stringing a VIOLIN. It's not a highend piece, but it is quite nice.

WE CUT TO a wide shot of the study. Sitting in a chairwith violin in hand is SOLOMON NORTHUP; a man in his latetwenties. Everything about Solomon, his mien and manner,

is distinguished. But he, too, seems a hardy individual.

Someone who has known manual labor in his time.

Solomon begins to lightly play his violin, as if testingthe strings, their tuning. Satisfied, Solomon begins toplay vigorously. As he does, we make a HARD CUT TO:

2 INT. HOUSE/LIVING ROOM - EVENING 2

We come in on a lively affair. A dinner party is beingthrown within the confines of a fairly stately house. In

attendance are EIGHT COUPLES. All are WHITE and all are

FAIRLY YOUNG, in their early twenties. The men and women

are dressed in very fine attire. We should get the sensethat for the most part they are people of means.

The furniture has been set aside in the living room. At

the moment the couples are engaged in the dancing of aREEL.

The music they are dancing to is being played by Solomon,

having cut directly from the tune he was previouslyplaying. He plays with a light determination, and in noway seems possessed with empty servitude.

Solomon concludes the reel, and the dancers break intoenthusiastic applause, which is followed by personalthanks and congratulations from all. It should be clear

that despite their respective races there is muchadmiration and appreciation for Solomon's abilities.

Rate this script:(4.50 / 4 votes)

John Ridley

John Ridley IV (born October 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, and showrunner, known for 12 Years a Slave, for which he won an Academy Award in 2013 for Best Adapted Screenplay. more…

All John Ridley scripts | John Ridley Books

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