LFF Day 7: The Birth of a Nation, Dog Eat Dog, & I Am Not A Serial Killer

The Birth of a Nation

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Reclaiming the title of D.W. Griffith’s feverishly racist silent epic, this ardent biography of conciliatory preacher turned revolutionary firebrand Nat Turner — written, directed by, and starring Nate Parker — makes a case for bloody retribution as the necessary, even inevitable, response to institutionalized evil.…

Free State of Jones: a restrained but impassioned anti-slavery drama overtaken by history

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Almost twenty years on from Spielberg’s Amistad, who would have thought that we’d be talking about any film that doesn’t see Matthew McConaughey as a serious Oscar contender as something of a disappointment?

Opening in the midst of the American Civil War with a battalion of grey-suited Confederate soldiers marching calmly to their deaths – their ranks thinning as the least fortunate among them fall underfoot – Gary Ross’ Free State of Jones initially feels more like reenactment than dramatization.…

12 Years a Slave is a stunning and necessary reminder of the insidious evils of slavery

5 Stars (5 / 5)


12 Years a Slave is the tale of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejifor), a free black man and professional violinist in the mid 19th Century northeastern United States who, in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

The third film of Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave feels, from the off, like a more mature approach to “the problem” of slavery than either of its two most immediate predecessors.…

Lincoln is showcase cinema at its best

4 Stars (4 / 5)


One hundred and fifty years since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into existence, slavery has once again become a hot-button topic in American cinema.

Arguably two of the biggest cinematic releases on show at the moment are Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.…