LONDON – The force of Gravity was strong at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday — but it was unflinching drama 12 Years a Slave that took the top prize.
Steve McQueen’s visceral, violent story of a free black man kidnapped into servitude in the 19th-century U.S. South was named best picture. Its star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, took the male acting trophy.
Ejiofor thanked McQueen, a visual artist who turned to filmmaking with Hunger and Shame, for bringing the story to the screen.
Holding the trophy, the British actor told McQueen: “This is yours. I’m going to keep it — that’s the kind of guy I am — but it’s yours.”
McQueen reminded the ceremony’s black-tie audience that, in some parts of the world, slavery is not a thing of the past.
“There are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here,” he said. “I just hope 150…
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