’12 Years A Slave’ Gets Children Treatment In Annual Pre-Oscars Video Reenactment

The Oscars are just under two weeks away and like clockwork, Cineflex has grabbed the latest batch of adorable children they can find to reenact pivotal scenes for the Oscars Best Picture nominees like 12 Years A Slave. For some people this is a cute way to indulge in a viral video, for others it’s a way to be properly familiarized, in an adorable way, with the nominated films.

This season most of the Best Picture nominees took on strong adult themes like The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave. This just means that children are awkwardly performing concepts that are beyond their scope, and in turn are simplified for a “cute factor.” In one of the clips a boy who appears to be preschool age is holding a machine gun and reenacting a scene from Captain Phillips as he plays a Somali pirate.

In the case of 12 Years a Slave, it seemed to be the one button that producers of the kids series didn’t want to push. Fortunately to stay out of immediate controversy the producers of Cineflex had the children reenact the end scene which doesn’t thematically deal with the brutal treatment Solomon Northup had to endure during his time as a slave.

Following its tongue in cheek nature at the end of the 12 Years a Slave reenactment, the child turns to the camera and says, “This is the only scene the producers were comfortable shooting with kids.”

It’s a good move for the Cineflex producers, but that also brings up the subject of slavery and how much is too much when it comes to children learning about Northup’s harrowing tale. As previously reported, director Steve McQueen is currently developing a plan with Penguin Books to encourage public schools to “teach the story as part of slavery and Civil War lesson plans.”

According to USA Today, children learning about Northup, a free man sold into slavery for twelve years, might be a reality in the classroom.

“This story so important. It was lost for 150 years. How is that possible? I’m just so happy that the public has embraced the movie.”

In response McQueen compared Solomon’s book to Anne Frank’s memoir when speaking of the significant effect 12 Years a Slave might have on children:

“I live in Amsterdam and Anne Frank is all around us. It’s so accessible, it’s readable, it’s so engaging. Solomon, like Anne Frank, is talking directly to us.”

Watch the children’s brief reenactment of 12 Years a Slave below: