12 Years A Slave may or may not win Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday, but it already won a much bigger honor.
The National School Boards Association is partnering with the filmmakers and Penguin Books to make both the movie and the book on which it is based part of public high school curriculum!
Montel Williams, who led a similar effort with the 1989 Civil War film Glory, is the mastermind behind the educational effort. He said:
"12 Years a Slave is one of the most impactful films in recent memory, and I am honored to have been able to bring together Fox Searchlight and National School Boards Association to maximize its educational potential. When Hollywood is at its best, the power of the movies can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool. This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future, and I’m proud to be a part of that."
Director Steve McQueen may be prouder of this achievement than any other award the film could garner. He said:
"Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation."
This seems like a good idea to us.
Seeing the horrors of American slavery in a modern film is going to be much more impactful than simply reading a dry description in a history book.
Especially when those horrors are enacted on such charming actors as Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor!
[Image via Regency Entertainment.]
Tags: 12 years a slave, becoming, bookz, curriculum, educational, film flickers, lupita nyong'o, national school board association, oscars