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12 Years a Slave vs. The Wolf of Wall Street

with 6 comments

Two Films filed under “Difficult to Watch”

One film I can’t stop thinking about. The other, I wish I could.12vWolf-05112014

I’ll admit straight up I never finished The Wolf of Wall Street. I tried thrice. But every time I picked up where I left off, it felt like I was shimmying through a hole in an outhouse and dropping into the muck below. The movie has a corrosive effect. It’s a nudie, sex- and Quaalude-filled downward spiral of lies, idiocy and bad behavior borne from naked greed. Evidently a true story and maybe even the movie excesses were not far off from how it actually played out in real life.

DifficultTime-05112014-4Then there was 12 Years a Slave. Also difficult to watch, but not corrosive. It was difficult because the filmmaker helped me empathize with these intelligent people living in the degrading and inhumane deep South. Their courage was breathtaking and heartbreaking and deeply affecting. Solomon Northrup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is an honorable man stolen into a dishonorable system. In 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen brings alive a terrible period of our history. The result is clarifying and worth the discomfort: we need to recover our sense of shame at ill treatment and still—even today—we need to recognize the inherent dignity in being a person.



Image credit: imdb, imdb

Written by kirkistan

May 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

6 Responses

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  1. I completely agree with your assessment here. We got about one minute into the opening scene of Wolf of Wall Street (bumping cocaine off a hooker’s derriere) at which point Hubby turned to me and said, “Uh, do you want to keeping watching this?” So I guess it’s fair to say that I didn’t give that move much of a chance.

    I think 12 Years a Slave did a good job being honest and accurate, yet holding back in places deemed necessary to the viewer. The scene of the woman getting ravaged by the whip, for example, while difficult to watch, was portrayed honestly still without being obscene. Great movie. Awful movie.


    May 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

    • Thanks for your comment. I could have turned it off sooner, but I kept thinking the main characters would learn something.


      May 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  2. I ended up reading the book “The Wolf of Wall Street” and skipped over certain parts. I can’t imagine watching it as a film. However, the reasoning for the book did have a tinge of hope (or at least honesty) in it.


    May 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    • Would you recommend the book?


      May 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      • Hm. I am not sure. It was eye-opening but depressing. It was at least 9 months ago, so I must admit that I do not remember it too well. Overall, it was not at all what I usually like. However, I appreciate that the author wanted to expose what happens on Wall Street.


        May 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      • Thanks! Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime.


        May 11, 2014 at 9:54 pm

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