Pitt is joined by Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Northup.
Quvenzhané Wallis also appears as Margaret and Adepero Oduye plays Eliza; both are, Solomon’s daughters. Lupita Nyong’o plays Patsy, a slave.
Northup’s startling story begins when he is lured to Washington, D.C. in 1841 by the promise of a job and is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He’s transported to Louisiana where he’s put to work at hard labor.
Northup is forced to suffer all sorts of indignities as a slave, but he vows to return to the north and his family and once again be free. The story is also about his struggle to retain his dignity.
Pitt plays an abolitionist carpenter from Canada who goes to work on the plantation and learns of Northup’s plight. He works to free Solomon from his cruel owner played by Fassbender.
During his years in slavery, Northup worked on several different plantations. he was able to get word to his family, who petitioned the governor of New York to seek his freedom under an 1840 state law empowering the state to repatriate free African-American New Yorkers who faced Solomon’s fate.
He wrote his book in 1853 after he was freed, and the story helped fan abolitionist fires. Northup also became an abolitionist an helped slaves escape the South as part of the Underground Railroad. He died between 1863 and 1875 Records of his death were lost, but he is still survived by a number of heirs.
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