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Racism in America through adaptation

By Jakob Munk, Sebastian Jakobsen, Jacinta Chung, Anja Schulze and Vaitza Papakonstantinou

Abstract

This study examines the adaptation of the movie 12 Years a Slave from the memoir of Solomon Northup. In order to analyse the adaptation, several theories will be used as guidelines for our research such as adaptation theories and film techniques. The analysis will lead through the different chapters of the book focusing on atmosphere, characters and religion. The main themes dealt with in the book as well as the movie will be linked with the events which unfolded in Ferguson and Baltimore. In order to understand how racial suppression has changed from the time depicted in the movie to contemporary America the theory of Mills is compared to the findings of our analysis of 12 Years a Slave. Additionally, an investigation of the presence of possible racism in the Hollywood film industry focusing on the Academy Awards will be conducted as director of the movie Steve McQueen is the first black director to ever win an award for Best Motion Picture. This study concludes that McQueen aims to raise awareness of the racial inequalities that still exists in the American film industry today. Furthermore McQueen uses different film techniques to express the different aspects of slavery during that time

Topics: Racism, Adaptation, 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northup, Film Analysis, Book analysis, Ferguson, Baltimore, Hollywood, Academy Awards, The Racial Contract, Slavery, White Supremacy, Black Supression
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:rudar.ruc.dk:1800/23486

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