Axe, co-written and directed by Steve McQueen (Widows, 12 Years A
Slave), encapsulates the proverb from which it’s inspired. Set within
London’s West Indian community between the late 60s and mid-80s, the series tells
five stories of Black defiance.
As McQueen says in a recent statement: 'I dedicate these films to George Floyd and all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are, in the US, UK and elsewhere. "If you are the big tree, we are the small axe." Black Lives Matter.'
Here’s everything we know about the series.
Letitia Wright stars in Mangrove. Photo: BBC
the Small Axe story?
This series tells five stories over six episodes, spanning almost 20
years. The titles for these stories are: Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Red,
White and Blue, Education, and Alex Wheatle.
Mangrove, selected to open this year’s London Film
Festival, follows the true story of the Mangrove 9. This was a group of Black
activists arrested, tried, and acquitted for a protest march at Notting Hill in
1970. Their efforts ensured the first judicial acknowledgement of racial hatred
in the British police.
Rock is a ‘fictional
story of young love and music at a blues party in the early 80s’. Red,
White and Blue tells the
story of Leroy Logan MBE, a Met police officer who wanted to change the racist
system from within.
in the Small Axe cast?
Wars actor John Boyega plays Leroy Logan in Red, White and Blue, which is appropriate
considering the actor's passionate speech at a BLM protest in Hyde Park.
In a recent interview with British GQ, Boyega waxed lyrical about working with Steve McQueen and derided Disney's racial preferences: ‘Steve [brought] up things I could
relate to and comes with a creative mind like I’ve never experienced before…
Being on set was like I’d been given a chance to breathe.’
Black Panther’s Letitia Wright stars
in Mangrove, alongside Shaun Parkes (The Accident) and Malachi Kirby (Curfew, Black Mirror).
the Small Axe release date?
Small Axe airs on the BBC in November, and Mangrove opens the London Film Festival on Wednesday 7 October. Watch the new trailer below.
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