The Magpie Anthology

What We’re Watching on Catch Up: Small Axe

Steve Mc Queen has brought to the small screen, big screen ideas and ideals with his anthology of five short films, collectively known as Small Axe.

The anthology consists of five films which tell distinct stories about the lives of West Indian immigrants in London during the 1960s and 1970s. The first, Mangrove is about the Mangrove restaurant and the trial of the Mangrove Nine – Paul Gilroy, a Black British writer and historian, commended the Small Axe series in an interview with The Guardian, saying, “What’s exciting about Steve’s films, the Mangrove one in particular, is that they are an attempt to offer a historical transfusion that, in the present condition, can give younger viewers and mainstream viewers an alternative sense of what the history of this country might be over the last 50 years.”

The Second is Lovers Rock, a romance film directed by Steve McQueen and co-written by McQueen and Courttia Newland. It stars Micheal Ward and Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn as two lovers who meet at a blues house party in the 1980s in West London. Red, White and Blue is the third in the series starring John Boyega as Leroy Logan, an officer in the London Metroplitan Police who founded the Black Police Association and attempted to reform the police force from within.

Still to come from Sunday the 6th of December on BBC1 are Alex Wheatle starring Sheyi Cole as Alex Wheatle, a Black British novelist who was sentenced to a term of imprisonment after the 1981 Brixton uprising and Education which will air on the 13th.

Thought provoking, horrifying, sad, uplifting and beautifully shot in equal measure, this anthology is a must! Watch the trailer HERE

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