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Steve McQueen's slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, has been hailed as a landmark corrective to the movie industry's virtual blindness to slavery, instead creating whiter tales like 1940 best-picture winner "Gone With the Wind." ''12 Years a Slave" is the first best-picture winner directed by a black filmmaker.

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'12 Years a Slave' Rises Up at Academy Awards

Perhaps atoning for past sins, Hollywood named the brutal, unshrinking historical drama "12 Years a Slave" best picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards.


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