History is fraught with unspeakable and monstrous acts of cruelty, but if you look closely, you may find extraordinary tales of courage and compassion as well. Director Steve McQueen's latest film is one of those extraordinary stories. Some of it can be difficult to watch, but there's no sugar-coating the subject matter. Luckily, McQueen handles things with a deft touch so that none of the material overwhelms the viewer with its heaviness. The film is more than a document of some of the darkest times in American history; it's a testament to the strength of the human spirit.