British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen has brought to the big screen the true story of Solomun Northup, a free black man from upstate New York. Set in the pre-Civil War United States, Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofer, loses his freedom after being abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Michael Fassbender returns to another McQueen film, portraying the cruel plantation owner. The film also stars Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams.

12 Years a Slave will inevitably draw comparisons to Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which won an Oscar earlier this year.

What To Read Next