12 YEARS A SLAVE
The Abridged Script
EXT. NEW YORK - 1841
After an AWKWARD FLASH-FORWARD we are introduced to free black man CHIWETEL EJIOFOR.
Boy! I have a beautiful wife, two adorable children, and I’m a skilled violinist. Life for a black man in this great U.S. of A is truly great!
But it IS NOT GREAT. CHIWETEL is lured to WASHINGTON D.C. by two BLUE EYED DEVILS and sold into SLAVERY.
Okay, okay, just calm down, Chiwe. Everything’s going to be just fine. According to "Song of the South" slavery actually wasn’t all that bad.
But it WAS ALL THAT BAD. Like, really, really, REALLY ALL THAT BAD.
Oh come on. Surely the reality of slavery wasn't as vicious and unflinchingly inhuman as everyone has made it out to
(is whipped for 17 straight minutes in one long unbroken take)
JESUS FUCK THAT WAS BRUTAL! But according to Bowfinger my Oscar nomination was just assured. I just hope things don't get progressively worse for me from here on out.
CHIWETEL hopes IN VAIN.
INT. SLAVE SHIP - YEAR 1
CHIWETEL is being transported to LOUISIANA with a bunch of KIDNAPPED SLAVES.
OMAR FROM “THE WIRE”
Hey everybody! Remember me? I'm hoping this will finally be my much belated big screen breakout role!
(is brutally murdered and fed to sharks)
I'm never going to catch a real break, am I?
At least everyone knows how to properly spell and pronounce your name. If I had a dollar for every time someone screwed up my name verbally and in print I could make three John Carters.
EXT. NEW ORLEANS
CHIWETEL is now owned by slaver PAUL GIAMATTI.
Sir, please help me, I’m a free man and my name is Chiwetel.
Actually your name is Toby now.
No it’s not! It’s Chiwetel and I’m a free man goddamnit!
I have a hankerin’ to castrate and hang anyone named Chiwetel, so what’s your name, boy?
Don't take it personally, Chiwetel. It's just business. Acquiring cheap free labor and royally screwing them over is what America is all about. Also prejudice.
So you're the 19th century version of Walmart?
No we're way worse. As a slave owner I'm legally allowed to starve my employees to death.
Yeah, not seeing a huge difference here.
Did I mention the random whippings and the mass rapes? Walmart can't do that.
Oh just you wait.
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH comes to PAUL to buy SLAVES who have been stripped of their CLOTHES as well as their basic HUMAN DIGNITY. BENEDICT wants to buy ADEPERO ODUYE.
Please sir, don’t buy me without also buying my children!
But of course! Wait, is this Opposite Day?
Oh dear, it is. Then the answer is “not a fucking chance”. Now I will remain stoic and ignore your blood curdling screams as your children are torn from your arms, as this will be the last time you will ever lay eyes on them.
THIS HAPPENS because SLAVERY was bone chillingly FUCKED UP THAT WAY. CHIWETEL is also purchased.
EXT. BENEDICT’S PLANTATION - YEAR 2 (MAYBE?)
I’m the overseer here and I am a real son of bitch. Chiwetel, I can tell you are intelligent, and therefore hate you more than I hate how I’ve been typecast as a wimpy-faced loser. Now I will berate you for doing exactly what I told you to do while also being black.
My strategy to survive this whole forced slavery thing was to just be quiet and not ruffle any feathers, but yours is a face one can not help but want to punch the fuck out.
CHIWETEL beats THE SHIT out of PAUL.
Um, Chiwetel? Did you forget that this is slavery? Rope beats fists.
CHIWETEL is HUNG from a TREE because SLAVERY was REALLY FUCKED UP LIKE THAT, but he is spared thanks to BENEDICT.
Benedict, I’m not a slave, I’m actually a free man. Please help me.
Sorry Chiwetel, I may not be a total asshole like Paul but this is slavery in the South afterall. The best I can do is sell you to another slave owner.
I understand. I can only hope that my next owner isn't an even bigger sadistic prick than Paul Dano was.
CHIWETEL hopes IN VAIN.
EXT. MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S PLANTATION - YEAR 4 (I THINK?)
I am a religious fanatic who loves me some brown sugar. If you see me with a white woman it’s because I’m asking her where all the black women are. Praise Jesus.
(is a heartless bastard)
CHIWETEL is forced to PICK COTTON because SLAVERY. Everything is SAD and DEPRESSING because that’s pretty much the entire definition of the word SLAVERY.
Then CHIWETEL sees a chance to RUN AWAY, but thinks better of it because ROPE also beats FEET. He witnesses some RUNAWAY SLAVES being HUNG because SLAVERY = FUCKING BULLSHIT.
Then MICHAEL gets DRUNK and tries to stab CHIWETEL because being murdered on a WHIM was a common hazard of being a SLAVE, but MICHAEL is stopped by his wife SARAH PAULSON.
Michael, it’s bad enough you’re screwing the slave girls behind my back but I will not have you killing off our work force.
Nag nag nag. Now if you’ll excuse me I have some government sanctioned raping to do.
MICHAEL RAPES and CHOKES his favorite slave girl LUPITA NYONG’O because MICHAEL is a professional SHITHEEL. And because MICHAEL “likes” LUPITA so much SARAH is sadistically abusive to her, making LUPITA's existence a LIVING HELL to the point she asks CHIWETEL to help her commit SUICIDE.
Did we mention just how SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP SLAVERY WAS? Because IT WAS. SERIOUSLY. FUCKED. ALL THE WAY. UP.
EXT. ANOTHER PLANTATION - YEAR 8 (PROBABLY?)
MICHAEL leases out his slaves including CHIWETEL, who meets kindly white man GARRET DILLAHUNT.
Garret, you look like the white savior I've been looking for. Here, take this small bit of money I’ve earned playing violin in exchange for mailing this letter to my family.
But you CAN NOT tell anyone. I could be murdered for this so this is totally top secret. Do you understand?
Yes I understand.
(takes the money)
Garret told me everything.
Oh goddamnit. Where’s a German dentist when you need him?
Normally this would be a hanging offense, but I shall spare you because
EXT. MICHAEL FASSBENDER’S PLANTATION - YEAR 11 OR 12 (I'M GUESSING)
Where’s Lupita?! I haven’t seen her for a full 60 seconds so she must have run away! I’m so angry my dick is hard!
No, seriously, I appear to have a massive erection throughout this entire scene. It’s really distracting.
Here I am! I didn’t run away, I just went to go get some soap. See, here’s the soap in my hand.
Oh. That makes sense. But I just remembered how much of an evil son of bitch I am and was planning to whip the black off of somebody today anyway so tag you’re it.
MICHAEL has LUPITA stripped NAKED and tied to a POLE and forces CHIWETEL to whip her.
Come on guys, this is awful. There has to be at least one decent white character in the movie who can't stand to see such senseless brutality. Please, Sarah. We were in Serenity together. Help me out here.
Sorry Chiwe, but the role of a jealous wife forbids me from giving even the slightest micro-fuck of basic human compassion for the poor helpless slave girl my husband is sexually assaulting every night because I was born with no soul. WHIP HER HARDER!
But CHIWETEL can’t bring himself to do it, so MICHAEL whips LUPITA for what feels like 40 STRAIGHT MINUTES in one long uncut take.
Okay, seriously, have we not stressed just how SUPER ULTRA MEGA FUCKING BULLSHIT SLAVERY WAS? It was basically the last hour of PASSION OF THE CHRIST, except ALL DAY EVERY DAY for roughly 240+ YEARS, not to mention those fuckawful PAULA DEEN weddings.
Eventually CHIWETEL meets kindly Canadian BRAD PITT and his rockin’ AMISH BEARD.
I think slavery sucks balls, eh.
Brad, please mail this letter to my family in New York so that they may come and free me.
Sure, eh. It’s aboot time this film had a white savior to rescue the helpless black character from his situation.
No one would ever have guessed you produced this movie.
BRAD mails the letter and CHIWETEL is RESCUED and returned to his family in New York, but he has to leave LUPITA with that ratfuck bastard MICHAEL because in case you haven’t quite figured it out by now, SLAVERY was a MAJOR CATASTROFUCK.
Chiwetel tried to sue his slave owners and lost because blacks weren’t allowed to testify against whites back then. And the two guys who abducted him also walked. And Spike Lee didn’t bitch about the use of the word “nigger” in this film because the director wasn’t white. Progress?
I can only hope that future generations of free law abiding persons of color can walk down the street, buy overpriced apparel, or simply purchase an iced tea while wearing a hooded jacket without being harassed or even murdered because of their skin color.
CHIWETEL hopes IN VAIN.