’12 Years a Slave’ Featurette Offers Historical Background and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Southern Accent

12 Years a Slave Violin

12 Years a Slave will be making some seriously big waves this fall. The early festival reviews for the film have heaped endless praises on to director Steve McQueen, the cast, the cinematography, and anything else you could possibly heap praises upon. The film releases on October 18, and until that time we can expect more and more critics to adore the film, while those of us who’ve seen Shame (McQueen’s last film) and don’t have access to early screenings will gnash our teeth and wait it out impatiently.

Now Yahoo! Movies has the first featurette from 12 Years a Slave, entitled “A Portrait of Solomon Northrup,” and one which features a lot of crucial basic information. It includes the history of real-life protagonist Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man living in mid-19th century New York who was kidnapped and spent those titular years forced into slavery, along with some details on some of the film’s supporting characters, why McQueen pursued this particular story, and what makes his take on American slavery unique.

But what this featurette primarily offers is oodles of new footage for those who’ve only seen the first trailer and are aching for more. We get a glimpse at nearly every face in the film’s near-endless cast (only Brad Pitt and Michael KWilliams are absent this time around) and get to hear the sweet strains of Benedict Cumberbatch‘s believably authentic Southern accent. Go ahead and check it out below:

Maybe Cumberbatch will use that same twang in his acceptance speeches when 12 Years a Slave invariably wins every award on the planet.

Adam Bellotto is a freelancer writer from Virginia who moved to California because movies are super neat. His work can also be read at Perihelion Science Fiction and Starpulse, among other places.

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