12 Years A Slave And The Power Of Overcoming Dyslexia


The 2013 movie, 12 Years a Slave, is a powerful story of survival and resilience. It follows the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. What makes this story even more remarkable is that, despite facing immense oppression and suffering, Northup was able to overcome his dyslexia to write a memoir of his experience. This blog post will discuss the power of overcoming dyslexia through Northup’s story and how it can serve as an inspiration to others who are struggling with the same disability.


2) The Plot

12 Years A Slave tells the powerful story of Solomon Northup, a free man living in upstate New York. In 1841, Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He endured 12 years of physical and mental torture, including being beaten and separated from his family. Eventually, he was able to gain his freedom with the help of an abolitionist.


The film focuses on the psychological impact of slavery, as well as its wider implications on society. It presents a picture of slavery as a brutal, dehumanizing institution. The story follows Northup’s journey to regain his identity and freedom, as well as the courage it took to fight back against injustice.

The movie also touches on themes of resilience, faith, and the power of perseverance. Despite the brutality that Northup faced, he continued to believe in himself and those around him. He ultimately emerged triumphant against overwhelming odds. By shining a light on the cruelty of slavery, 12 Years A Slave serves as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit.


3) The Characters

12 Years A Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film tells the story of his struggle to survive and gain his freedom.

The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps, Benedict Cumberbatch as William Ford, Paul Dano as John Tibeats, Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey, and Alfre Woodard as Eliza. Other cast members include Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, and Michael Kenneth Williams.

The character of Solomon Northup was inspired by the real-life events of a man with dyslexia who overcame his disability and became a free man. His extraordinary journey is portrayed in the film and serves as an inspiration for others dealing with dyslexia. Throughout the film, we see how Solomon must overcome his struggles with reading and writing, which are characteristic of those with dyslexia. Despite his hardships, he is determined to fight for his freedom and survive the harsh conditions of slavery.

In contrast, Edwin Epps is the slave owner that Solomon has to contend with in his bid for freedom. He is portrayed as an oppressive and cruel master, who shows no mercy towards his slaves. However, there are glimpses of humanity in Epps, as he admits to feeling guilt about the injustices he inflicts on Solomon and the other slaves.

Other characters in the film include William Ford, who helps Solomon in his quest for freedom, Patsey, another enslaved woman who is treated cruelly by her master and ultimately brings solace to Solomon, and Eliza, a former slave who is also trying to make her way back to freedom. Through their relationships, we see how they all help each other in their fight against oppression.

4) Themes

12 Years A Slave is a film that contains many powerful themes that provide its viewers with meaningful messages about life. One such theme is the power of overcoming dyslexia.

The protagonist of the film, Solomon Northup, is a free man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Despite his horrific circumstances, he never stops striving for freedom and justice. Throughout the movie, it is revealed that Solomon has dyslexia. Despite this, he manages to learn how to read and write, and continues to display remarkable intelligence and resilience throughout his time in captivity. 

The movie also highlights the reality of discrimination and prejudice against those who are different or have disabilities. Solomon faces tremendous challenges as a result of his dyslexia, but he ultimately perseveres and demonstrates that differences can be overcome with hard work and dedication. 

Ultimately, 12 Years A Slave serves as a powerful reminder that no matter the obstacles you may face, you can still achieve success if you are determined and persistent. The film portrays an inspiring message of perseverance and courage, showing how one can triumph over adversity.

5) Production

12 Years A Slave is an award-winning movie adaptation of the autobiography of Solomon Northup. The film was released in 2013, and was directed by Steve McQueen. It was co-produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, as well as New Regency and Film 4. The production team also included executive producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, who also worked together on The Big Short.

The movie was shot primarily in Louisiana, including locations such as Alexandria and St. Francisville. The plantation scenes were filmed at a historic site called the Magnolia Plantation, located near New Orleans. They also filmed some scenes at Destrehan Plantation, which is located across the Mississippi River.

The film features an impressive cast, with some big names attached. Michael Fassbender stars as Edwin Epps, the cruel and abusive slave owner. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, the lead role. Other notable actors include Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, and Alfre Woodard.

The costumes for the movie were designed by Jacqueline Durran. Durran had previously worked with director Steve McQueen on his previous films, Hunger and Shame. She designed the costumes to be based on historical research to ensure accuracy to the period. 

The cinematography for 12 Years A Slave was done by Sean Bobbitt. He used an Arri Alexa camera and zoom lenses to capture the beautiful Louisiana landscapes for the film.

12 Years A Slave was a critical success and has been nominated for numerous awards since its release in 2013. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won three, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o). The film was also a success financially, earning over $187 million against a budget of only $20 million.

6) Release

12 Years a Slave was released in theaters on October 18, 2013. It was released in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2014. The film had a limited release in the United States on November 8, 2013 and was widely released on December 27, 2013. 12 Years a Slave received critical acclaim, becoming the first film since 1984 to win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture, and the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

It received several other awards and nominations, including nine Academy Award nominations, winning three (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay), and four BAFTA Awards (Outstanding British Film, Best Film, Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Adapted Screenplay). Additionally, it was nominated for six Independent Spirit Awards and won three (Best Feature, Best Male Lead and Best Cinematography). 

The film was also chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” 12 Years a Slave is available to view on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.