The slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, becoming the first film from a black director to win the film industry's top honor in the 86 years of the Academy Awards.

The film from British director Steve McQueen is based on the memoirs of a free black man, Solomon Northup, who is tricked and sold into bondage in Louisiana in an unflinching account of pre-Civil War slavery in America.

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