For his follow-up to Widows, one of the most severely under-seen movies of the 2010s (it rules), Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen has made an anthology series for Amazon Prime Video called Small Axe. Each episode “celebrates little known stories of Black pride and resilience,” according to Amazon, including Mangrove, which tells the “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.” Black Panther standout Letitia Wright (Shuri) plays one of the activists.
“Sunday, August 9, is 50 years since the Mangrove March, which led to nine innocent Black women and men being arrested,” McQueen said in a statement. “It was a march necessitated by relentless police brutality in Notting Hill. To commemorate the bravery of these community activists and the nine who went on to be acquitted of incitement to riot with the judge citing ‘evidence of racial hatred,’ I am sharing the trailer of Mangrove, one of five films to be released under the banner Small Axe” (you can watch it above). One of the other films, Lover’s Rock, stars John Boyega and was selected as the coveted opening-night title for the New York Film Festival. Here’s the official plot synopsis:
Based on a true story, Small Axe celebrates little known stories of Black pride and resilience, like the Mangrove March. Learn more about what happens when even ordinary people stand up to police brutality and racial injustice to achieve something transformative with Academy Award winner Steve McQueen’s latest.
Small Axe premieres later this year.