12 years a slave (egifior)1a*Its only playing in 120 locations. And it has grossed $2.1 million dollars in just 2 weeks!

12 Years A Slave is a raw, gut wrenching story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Directed by Steve McQueen, “Slave,” based on the 1854 memoir of Solomon Northup, is one of the top Oscar contenders.

In Los Angeles at the Rave Theaters in the Crenshaw Mall, Director John Singleton hosted a special screening (and discussion afterwards) of the groundbreaking movie for celebrities and community advocates.

EURweb associate Fahnia Thomas was on the red carpet  to talk about the importance of the film distributed by Fox Searchlight.

Torrei Hart 12 years a slaveLaura Govan 12 years a slaveBrandon Jay McLaren 12 years a slaveActress Torrei Hart (Kevin Hart’s ex) and reality star Laura Govan say they are thankful to have been born in this century.

“Graceland” star Brandon Jay McLaren, says “keeping the conversation of our past in the forefront of America is important.”

Businesswoman/minister, Omarosa, told us the film “reminds the world that our passage wasn’t an easy one and our history is not speckled without pain.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Singleton said it is extremely significant to have African Americans involved in the making of black films.

Actor Flex Alexander and his wife songstress Shanice Wilson agree with Singleton and say, “nobody knows us [African Americans] better than we know ourselves.”

Omarosa 12 years a slaveFlex Alexander and Shanice Wilson 12 years a slaveAfter the private viewing an audience discussion was held.

Singleton said, “we need to rejoice in the fact that we are no longer in the same space as Solomon and we should celebrate that we have prevailed over oppression.”

One viewer related the film to a metaphor about the human state of mind: if you chain down an elephant it will attempt to break free but after you remove the shackles, the elephant will not attempt to run because his mentality won’t allow him to.

“12 Years A Slave” recently won the audience award at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Nationwide release is scheduled for this weekend, November 1.

To see all the interviews, check out EUR associate Fahnia Thomas on the red carpet: