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Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Apr 21st, 2021

Commentary on First Out of Africa

In my opinion, the documentary First Out of Africa is rather provocative in terms of revealing the complex questions of the human evolution and origins, as well as the right of people to explore and disturb the isolated tribes to find answers to research questions. During thousands of years, the Andaman Islands were inhabited by the unique isolated tribes, the population of which differed significantly from the Asian and Pacific populations.

I hold the view that it is the scientifically significant discovery that these people were descendants of the humans migrated from Africa about 60,000 years ago and living isolated for more than 40,000 years (“First Out of Africa”). On the one hand, it was important for the anthropologists, biochemists, historians, and sociologists to learn why the inhabitants of these islands were similar to the African people. On the other hand, the life of these islanders was disturbed because of researchers and other white people’s visits.

My impression is that the research is rather important to understand the origins of the humans and discover the evidence for the early migration of Africans. From this point, the documentary provides the complete discussion of the topic. Still, I was concentrated on the idea that those unique people are at risk of vanishing. My own feeling is that the life of these people should be preserved to protect their culture and language from disappearing. The documentary is effective to represent how the people originated from the pre-agricultural Africans try to survive nowadays. I think that the Indian government should pay more attention not to contacting these people, but to preserving their unique lifestyle.

Commentary on 12 Years a Slave

Speaking personally, 12 Years a Slave (2013) directed by Steve McQueen is a captivating drama discussing the controversial theme of slavery. I believe that the period of slavery is one of the most disgraceful times in the American history that influenced the social order and the public’s attitudes to people with the other color of skin (“12 Years a Slave”). From my point of view, the film demonstrates the tragedy of a free person living as a slave during twelve years with much detail, focusing on the most painful aspects of racism, prejudice, and inequality. It seems that the white planters tried to use each opportunity to protect their dominating position in the society while referring to traditions or even to the Bible.

I am of the opinion that McQueen is also perfect in representing the good nature of a man that tries to break the unjust social rules and help people in spite of the skin color. However, the film makes a viewer think that slavery is such a social phenomenon that provokes individuals to demonstrate their real faces. On the one hand, a planter can be compassionate in spite of the social rules and public expectations, as it is represented in the attitude of Mr. Ford to Solomon. However, I am sure that the idea of slavery can also make the planter become cruel and inhuman, as it is in case of Mr. Epps.

My view is that the film also accentuates the role of the appearance and bias in society. These aspects determine the public’s attitudes and limits for people to follow. I would say that when Solomon was known as a free man, the public also made certain conclusions regarding his musical talent and social position. When Solomon became had to live as a slave, the people began to perceive him as a man without any rights in spite of the fact that Solomon did not change as a person. I believe that the film makes think about the slavery as determining the people’s attitudes and visions.

Works Cited

12 Years a Slave. 2013. Web.

First Out of Africa. 2013. Web.

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"Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave." IvyPanda, 21 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/films-comparison-first-out-of-africa-and-12-years-a-slave/.

1. IvyPanda. "Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/films-comparison-first-out-of-africa-and-12-years-a-slave/.


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IvyPanda. "Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/films-comparison-first-out-of-africa-and-12-years-a-slave/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave." April 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/films-comparison-first-out-of-africa-and-12-years-a-slave/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Films Comparison: First Out of Africa and 12 Years a Slave'. 21 April.

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