For Brad Pitt, who stars in and produced "12 Years a Slave," it's "one of those few films that cuts to the base of our humanity," the actor told NBC's Ann Curry this week.
Directed by Steve McQueen, the film follows the difficult journey of a pre-Civil War-era freeman, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
“And it was not ’til I saw Solomon Northup’s story that I fully, fully grasped the utter horror of losing your freedom, or denying another one their freedom, taking their freedom, splitting their family apart. It’s abhorrent," Pitt said.
Though the film's subject matter is difficult, gut-wrenching and often disturbing, the 49-year-old actor said: "It's why I got into film in the first place."
Here's the trailer: