What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 12 Years a Slave is a harrowing, moving drama based on a book written in the 1850s by Solomon Northup recounting his experiences as a slave, and it can be difficult to watch. There are scenes that show extreme brutality (beatings, hangings) and rough language (the use of the "N" word), and extreme emotional cruelty. Expect some slave market nudity, plus the sexual assault of a slave by a master. Very young teens and tweens may find it too intense, but older teens should watch it to bear witness to a tragic part of American history.
  • Families can talk about Northup's story: Have you heard of it before? If not, why not?
  • How is this movie different from, or similar to, others that explore the subject of racism and the history of slavery in this country?
  • Do you think the amount of violence in this movie helps viewers get a realistic understanding of the experience of slavery? Or is it gratuitous? Does the fact that the violence is in a historical context make it more (or less) tolerable?
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
DRINKING & DRUGS
SEXY STUFF
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