Amazon Prime Video has released an extended trailer for Oscar-winner Steve McQueen’s forthcoming anthology drama film series titled Small Axe, featuring new footage of the five original films that were each inspired by real-life events about ordinary people showing courage, belief, and resilience to overcome injustice. Featuring Letitia Wright and John Boyega, you can check out the new video in the player below!
The official synopsis and release dates of the films are listed below:
-Set to debut on November 20, Mangrove tells this true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.
-Set to debut on November 27, Lovers Rock tells a fictional story of young love at a Blues party in 1980. The film is an ode to the romantic reggae genre called “Lovers Rock” and to the Black youth who found freedom and love in its sound in London house parties, when they were unwelcome in white nightclubs.
-Set to debut on December 4, Education is the coming of age story of 12-year-old Kingsley (Kenyah Sandy), who has a fascination for astronauts and rockets. When Kingsley is pulled to the headmaster’s office for being disruptive in class, he discovers he’s being sent to a school for those with “special needs.
Distracted by working two jobs, his parents (Sharlene Smith, Daniel Francis) are unaware of the unofficial segregation policy at play, preventing many Black children from receiving the education they deserve, until a group of West Indian women take matters into their own hands.
-Set to debut on December 11, Alex Wheatle follows the true story of award-winning writer, Alex Wheatle (Sheyi Cole), from a young boy through his early adult years. Having spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home with no love or family, he finally finds not only a sense of community for the first time in Brixton, but his identity and ability to grow his passion for music and DJ’ing. When he is thrown in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, he confronts his past and sees a path to healing.
-Set to debut on December 18, Red, White, and Blue tells the true story of Leroy Logan (John Boyega), a young forensic scientist with a yearning to do more than his solitary laboratory work. When he sees his father assaulted by two policemen, he finds himself driven to revisiting a childhood ambition to become a police officer; an ambition borne from the naïve hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within.
Leroy must face the consequences of his father’s disapproval, and the blatant racism he finds in his new role as a despised yet exemplary constable in the Metropolitan Police Force.
Small Axe is an anthology comprised of five original films set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s that tell different stories involving London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination. This title is derived from the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.” The five films featured in addition to Mangrove are Lovers Rock, Alex Wheatle, Education and Red, White and Blue. It is also the title of a Bob Marley song from his album Catch a Fire.
The series stars Wright and John Boyega (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) along with Malachi Kirby (Roots), Shaun Parkes (Lost in Space), Rochenda Sandall (Line of Duty), Alex Jennings (Victoria) and Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots).
Small Axe was created by McQueen alongside Alastair Siddons and Courttia Newland. Alex Wheatle is serving as a writing consultant. McQueen will also executive produce along with Tracey Scoffield and David Tanner for Turbine Studios. Turbine Studios is producing with Lammas Park, alongside Anita Overland and Mike Elliot for EMU Films. The series will premiere on BBC One with BBC Studios handling international distribution while Amazon has acquired the U.S. rights.