In 12 Years a slave, Solomon Northup is rendered unconscious before he is abducted.

He is seen drinking wine with his meal beforehand, and his captors are insistent he drinks more & more & more....

The film doesn't make clear whether he was simply intoxicated, or if something was placed in his drink to render him unconscious.

Does anyone know what really happened to him?

  • From his behaviour he seemed more sick than drunk, but I agree that it's ambiguous.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 28, 2014 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


According to the Wikipedia synopsis of the book the film is based on, he was drugged.

However, the reason this may not have been made clear in the movie could have been deliberate. The director or writers may have wanted the audience to be oblivious as to what actually happened, as Solomon may have been oblivious himself.

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