Why haven’t more movies been made about American slavery? Hollywood studio racism is certainly a prime factor; but even for determined anti-racists, there’s also the aesthetic problem of creating a compelling film drama.
With 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Steve McQueen, the brilliant British director of HUNGER and SHAME, has probably created the first masterpiece of the new black cinema.
Director Steve McQueen’s skillful exploration of troubled human behavior and his use of New York as a psychological landscape make “Shame” off-putting to watch, while at the same time it draws us in. We have no moral compass beyond our own attitudes to ambiguous contemporary sexual mores.