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Steve McQueen: The man behind '12 Years a Slave'

February 11th, 2014
03:52 PM ET

For Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” was a film that had to be made.

The Oscar-nominated film portrays the true story of a free black man from the north who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the American South.

“For me, being of African descent, I thought there was a hole in the canon of cinema regarding this subject,” McQueen, the director of the film, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “It was very natural that I wanted to put it on film.”

“My ancestors were slaves,” he said. “My parents are from the West Indies, from Grenada.”

“There are so many things which people often question, but we don’t we don’t seem to want to answer. And I wanted this film to try to answer some of those questions.”

Click above to watch their full interview.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. just to clarify

    Not to be confused with the white actor Steve McQueen who's been dead for over 30 years.

    February 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Cricket666

      Really? Thank you for the information. I didn't notice at all until you enlightened us.

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  2. Nick

    I was persuaded to see the film yesterday and am so glad! Now to hear Steve McQueen talking about it all was really wonderful too! He seems such a great guy and what a considerate interview too. Well done!

    February 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Reply
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    Um! saw the name, what?

    February 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Reply
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    With all the world chronolgically time when Blacks Ruled we continue to dwell on these reminders of how much wealth Whites derived and the Federal Government taxed off Black enslaved free labor. Just amazing!

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