Among first-hand accounts of significant historical periods, Anne Frank’s Diary is usually among the first to come to mind. However, with the 2014 Oscar-winning movie adaptation, another such account has received much deserved recognition. The memoir of Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave is arguably among the most important historical documents surrounding the period of institutional slavery in the United States of America. In adapting the memoir into a major motion picture, Northup’s story has reached a much broader audience and recognition among the general population, where before it mainly circulated in academic or historical communities. For some time, slavery has been a great taboo in the United States, and is in many ways the great shame of American history.12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, is an interesting of historical story-telling about slavery in the 1800s, as it is an adaptation of the book of the same title from 1853. Thereby it is an image of modern interpretation of an older document, in which certain issues are highlighted while others are left out. Although it is a remarkable film in many ways, it is still primarily a source of entertainment. Not only is it important to stress the historical context in which the movie takes place, it is also necessary to acknowledge any discrepancies that may be present. Any film adaptation of a historical text is inevitably subject to scrutiny, especially regarding the degree to which the film is true to the original source. In translating the memoir of Northup into the big screen, it is unavoidable that some things are lost in this translation, as it is surely equally certain that a film gains other aspects that the original source did not intend. In this project, an analysis conducted on the film’s historical accuracy will determine the overall success of the film’s portrayal of slavery in America.