12 Years a Slave and Crossing the River: Postcolonial Critique
The behaviors and conducts of the collective group shaped people’s perceptions of the right and wrong practiced. Over time, those notions became so deeply etched in the mind that no rational evidence to contrary could unlearn said inscriptions, i.e. Hamilton’s disregard for slaves as equal humans, Edwards naivety in “The Pagan Coast,” etc. By the same token, Phillip’s characters mimic the same detachment as Solomon Northup; their inability to recognize the situation at large shows the multinational diaspora through generations, and renders them as mere sketches of real people. However, McQueen’s adaptation consequently offers juxtaposition to Phillip’s novel; the former gives a narrative perspective of the slave, whereas the former looks at history from a different angle, through the prism of those normally written out of the stories (or viewed as the culprit). In any case, both the film and novel mutually agree upon the idea that bigotry was inscribed in the culture, not the person.
With this being said, we can look at 12 Years a Slave as an anti-conquest film, despite the fact that it actively employs the Us-Them binary (i.e. the white vs. the black;