Small Axe: Season 1

Small Axe: Season 1

Small Axe: Season 1

Comprised of five original films, this anthology series from Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) tells different stories centred on the lives of London’s West Indian community from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s. The title is derived from the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”

Best Supporting Actor (Boyega) - Movie Made for TV, Golden Globes 2021
2020UKPrime Video, BBC
DramaHistorical
EPISODE 1.1

Mangrove

The true story of The Mangrove Nine, who clashed with London police in 1970. The trial that followed was the first judicial acknowledgment of behaviour motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.

EPISODE 1.2

Lover's Rock

A single evening at a house party in 1980s West London sets the scene, developing intertwined relationships against a background of violence, romance and music.

EPISODE 1.3

Red, White and Blue

Spotlights the true story of Leroy Logan, who at a young age saw his father assaulted by two policemen, motivating him to join the Metropolitan Police and change their racist attitudes from within.

EPISODE 1.4

Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle follows the true story of award-winning writer, Alex Wheatle, from a young boy through his early adult years. Having spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home with no love or... MORE 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 DJing. When he is thrown in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, he confronts his past and sees a path to healing.

EPISODE 1.5

Education

The coming of age story of 12-year-old Kingsley, 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... MORE a school for those with "special needs." Distracted by working two jobs, his parents 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.

Small Axe: Season 1 / Reviews

BBC

BBC

Mangrove review: I think every single scene is necessary and every single character is brilliant.

Full review
The New York Times

The New York Times

Lovers Rock review: The film's sensuality and flares of pure joy lingered with me long after it was over.

Full review
IndieWire

IndieWire

Red, White and Blue review: Plays like a breaking point.

Full review
RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

Alex Wheatle review: Of the five films in McQueen's opus, Alex Wheatle is the one I liked least.

Full review
Variety

Variety

Education review: Watch it with your kids - it's the most accessible to young audiences - and share it with others.

Full review