Oscar-nominated film 12 Years a Slave to be taught in US schools

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has made the film’s viewing mandatory in all state-run high schools

The Oscar-nominated film 12 Years a Slave will be taught as part of the US national curriculum, it has been announced.

12 Years a Slave is a historical drama based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the US in the 1840s.

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has made the film’s viewing mandatory in all state-run high schools. Edited versions of the film, which has been rated ‘R’, will be distributed to schools.

The board has joined in partnership with the distributor New Regency, Penguin Books and the filmmakers so copies of the book, the film and a study guide are allocated across the US.

The initiative to incorporate the story into the national curriculum was spear-headed by actor and presenter Montel Williams and is due to start this autumn.

In a statement, Mr Williams said the film "can be harnessed into a powerful educational tool". 

“This film uniquely highlights a shameful period in American history, and in doing so will evoke in students a desire to not repeat the evils of the past while inspiring them to dream big of a better and brighter future”.

12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen has been nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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