Brad Pitt Drama 12 Years A Slave Has Canadian Connection

12 Years a Slave

The Brad Pitt/Chiwetel Ejiofor-led drama "12 Years a Slave," which was screened at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, has some very local ties.

Kenora, Ontario residents are direct descendants of Samuel Bass, played by Pitt, a compassionate Canadian carpenter who comes to the aid of a 19th-century free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana.

"The movie is about Solomon Northup, right? But we would never have heard of him, I guess, if he hadn't met my great great great great grandfather," said 50-year-old Kenora resident Laurie Morris, whose mother is descended from Bass's second daughter Hannah (to The Canadian Press). "For the Canadian side of things, it shows we're good people. I just imagine being down there and being the only Canadian with an opinion like that."

"12 Years a Slave" is directed by Steve McQueen ("Hunger," "Shame"), and also stars Michael Fassbender ("Prometheus"), Paul Giamatti ("Sideways"), Alfre Woodard ("Copper"), and Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock").

Photo: TIFF/12 Years a Slave