Chikonzi writes exclusively for kaos about why he has such a problem with "12 Years A Slave". London-based Zimbabwean Chikonzi teaches psychology and sociology.
I REMEMBER WHEN Roots was first screened on Zimbabwean TV (and was repeated endlessly thereafter). Suddenly everyone started saying "Boss", mimicking characters on the show. It's an example of how audiences respond to fictionalised respresentations of history, how T.V. and film can inadvertently trivialise the subjects they purport to honour.
How can anyone think it's right for people to go into a cinema to be entertained, to be "moved" by this story of degradation? If it shocks and appalls them - so what? What does that achieve, what does that fix? This film achieves nothing, and it's a lie to pretend otherwise. It is torture porn.
There is something inherently evil in the total lack of responsibility, to history, and to their suffering. I won't be watching 12 Years a Slave. I don't need to be told how horrific slavery was; I already know. Enjoy your Oscars guys, I hope their pain was worth it.