In the 1840s, which states allowed slavery and where was it outlawed? What "freedoms" did a free black person have during this time period? How safely could they travel into states which still had slavery? How has the definition of kidnapping changed and been applied over time to different categories of people?
How was the treatment of slaves different in the Mid-Atlantic versus the Deep South? Was it economics, religion, or some other factors that accounted for these differences in treatment? Should any slaveholder ever be described as "benevolent"?
This movie is based on Solomon Northrop's personal narrative. What kinds of information can we learn from diaries and personal narratives that we cannot learn from other primary sources?