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

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.

“Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live,” said McQueen, who dedicated the honor to those, past and present, who have endured slavery. “This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup.”

Also, Alfonso Cuarón was named Best Director for “Gravity”, marking the first time a Latino has won in that category.

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Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/02/6201480/surprises-at-academy-awards-may.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/02/6201480/surprises-at-academy-awards-may.html#storylink=cpy

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