11 March 2014

South Africa: Much More Than 12 Years a Slave

Africa has made a strong showing at this year's Academy Awards. The brutal depiction of slavery in 12 Years a Slave secured a best actress ... ( Resource: Three Oscar Nominees for Africa )


Slavery's been around pretty much since the beginning of mankind, but a recent American film made by a British director with a vibrant international cast on Solomon Northup's biographical narrative is almost certainly the most extraordinary evocation of the reality of servitude ever put on screen.

Slavery was central to America's founding, just as it was South Africa's; but while slavery features in many American films, it has just barely broached South Africa's own local film and TV industry. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a closer look at this landscape.

"Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free... '

- Exodus 21:1-6


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