12 Years a Slave (2013) Poster

Chris Chalk: Clemens


  • Robert : I say we fight.

    Solomon Northup : The crew is fairly small. If it were well planned, I believe they could be strong armed.

    Clemens : Three can't stand against a whole crew. The rest here are niggers, born and bred slaves. Niggers ain't got the stomach for a fight, not a damn one.

    Robert : All I know, we get where we travelling we'll wish we'd died trying.

    Clemens : Survival is not about certain death, it is about keeping your head down.

    Solomon Northup : Days ago I was with my family, in my home. Now you tell me all is lost. "Tell no one who I really am" if I want to survive. I don't want to survive, I want to live.

  • Clemens : If you want to survive, do and say as little as possible. Tell no one who you really are and tell no one that you can read and write. Unless you want to be a dead nigger.

  • Solomon Northup : We need a sympathetic ear. If we have an opportunity to explain our situation...

    Clemens : Who in your estimation is that sympathetic ear?

    Solomon Northup : The two men I journeyed with. I'm certain they're making inquires at this very moment.

    Clemens : I would be just as certain they are counting the money paid for delivering you to this place.

    Solomon Northup : They were not kidnappers. They were artists. Fellow performers.

    Clemens : You know that? You know for certain who they were?

    [Solomon cannot answer] 

    Clemens : How I reckon the situation: whatever past we had... well, that's done now. The reality to come is us being transported southward. New Orleans if I were to venture. After we arrive, we'll be put to market. Beyond that... Well, once in a slave state I suppose there's only one outcome.

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