First ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ Clip Ruins a Perfectly Good Shopping Trip with Racial Injustice

There’s still a considerable stretch of time between now and when Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave wins every award under the sun. And in that stretch, things might seem a little dull. But fear not – thanks to Vulture, we’ve got our first clip from the upcoming slavery epic, and it’s everything you could want and more.

As long as “everything you could want and more” was limited to nineteenth century purse shopping and racial tension. It’s not much, but it does provide a little insight on how the music, cinematography, and period style will blend together. Note that while the editing seems fairly basic (especially given McQueen’s penchant for excruciatingly long takes), that first shot clocks in at a slightly-longer-than-average twenty seconds.

And the situation seen within promises plenty of the unpleasant racial realities of the 1900’s. Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) may be able to take his wife on a shopping trip, but the majority of black Americans are still snapped at like a misbehaving pet for the simple act of stepping foot into the wrong store. It’s an experience that Northrup will become far too familiar with by the end of the film. Go ahead and check out the clip after the break.

12 Years a Slave releases on October 18, 2013.

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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