In anticipation of Steve McQueen's award winning feature 12 YEARS A SLAVE, which opens October 18, Reelblack will host a rare public screening of Gordon Park's final feature film, HALF SLAVE, HALF FREE: SOLOMON NORTHUP'S ODYSSEY on Friday October 11 at the United Bank Building, 3750 Lancaster Avenue. Screening will start at 7pm. Admission is $5.00.
Solomon Northup's Odyssey, reissued as Half Slave, Half Free, is a 1984 American television film based on the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film, which aired on PBS, was directed by Gordon Parks with Avery Brooks starring as the titular character. It was the second film to be funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, following Denmark Vesey's Rebellion in 1982. Parks returned to direct the film after years of absence. He chose to work in the Deep South and to collaborate with a crew of mixed races. The film first aired on PBS on December 10, 1984 and as part of PBS's American Playhouse anthology television series in the following year. It was released on video under the title Half Slave, Half Free.