Tue, Sep 10, 2013 3:29 PM EDT

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" has been getting rave reviews for its realistic portrayal of the horror of slavery. But for fans in Toronto, where the film is screening at the city's annual film festival, the violence was too much to take. 

From the International Business Times:

The movie focuses on the story of Ejiofor, who plays Northup - a free musician living in Saratoga, New York, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South.

An early scene shows him being beaten 15 times with a bat and then whipped 14 times by his kidnappers.

The director McQueen also shows slaves being hanged and killed. One scene, lasting 10 minutes, shows a plantation owner, played by Michael Fassbender, stringing up a slave to a post before ordering her beating. She is whipped at total of 41 times.

The film eventually recieved a standing ovation, but not before several audience members walked out, according to the Business Times. So far, it's drawing comparisons with "Schiendler's List."