Steve McQueen’s slave epic 12 Years a Slave might go down in history as most realistic, and raw movie about slavery ever made. In fact, some critics have called the film the Schindler’s List of the black experience.

The “must-see movie of the year” has already marked Chiwetel Ejiofor as the frontrunner to take home the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Ejiofor discusses where 12 years sits among previous slave saga’s like Amistad and Django Unchained, in his interview with theGrio.

“Previous films [about slavery] had an influence on me, in terms of just watching a being a filmgoer,” Ejiofor said. “I was in Amistad, so that had effect on contextualizing certain things for me. But this book is something different, in terms of my relationship with to Solomon Northup and my relationship to the slave experience.”

The Inside Man actor also discussed the comparisons between 12 Years and Schindler’s List.

12 Years a Slave hits theaters today in a limited roll-out and will expand nationwide in weeks to come.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC