For a glimpse into the lives of slaves before the abolition of slavery in the United States, watch 12 years a slave online. The film revolves around the life of African-American man named Solomon Northup who in 1841 is a free man despite the fact that slavery is yet to be abolished. He works as a violinist in New York to provide for his wife and 2 kids.
His life, however, takes an ugly turn when heâ€™s offered a gig by Hamilton and Brown. The gig is in Washington, D.C. and he must travel there. On arrival, Brown and Hamilton drug him before selling him into slavery. He ends up in New Orleans where he is given the name Platt and sold to William, a plantation owner.
Because Northup is not getting along with another worker at the plantation, Northup is sold to Edwin Epps. But even here Northup does not succeed in his efforts to prove that he is a free man.
Following a cotton worm outbreak rendering Edwin Eppsâ€™ cotton plantation untenable, Northup is leased off to another plantation alongside his fellow slaves. At the new plantation, Northup manages to find favor with the owner of and he is allowed to provide musical entertainment at the wedding anniversary of a neighbor. He is also allowed to retain whatever he will earn.
With the earnings from his musical talents, Northup takes the risk several times to pay people who can enable him to contact friends residing in the state of New York. All in a bid to win back his freedom. Will he succeed?