Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.Small Axe is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982.
How Letitia Wright Pushed Steve McQueen on "Small Axe"
But for real, it is interesting seeing my own country being targeted, a) because it's almost always America taking most of the criticism on that front, when my country is almost as bad, and b) because I don't like my country and would happily pay to see most current government officials kicked out of Parliament. And I mean literally kicked. Preferably in the balls.
Anyway, it's a series by Steve McQueen. Awesome, except for the fact that the only one of his films I've seen is Widows, and that's probably his worst, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. What you should expect is five episodes about the black experience, specifically in England during the 60s-80s and mostly based on true stories.
You can go read my reviews of each individual episode if you want specifics, but Mangrove is about the trial of the Mangrove Nine, the first trial to prove and use police discrimination as evidence, and is basically a better version of The Trial Of The Chicago 7 and my personal favourite of the series, Lovers Rock I found really boring and would have been significantly improved by cutting maybe an entire half of it out, Red, White And Blue is a great character study even if it ends pretty abruptly, Alex Wheatle is fine, but it feels a little flat and pointless compared to the rest of the series, and Education is a nice hopeful little offering about the next generation to leave off on.
It's weird how I think the first two could have been improved by cutting some stuff out, and the last three could have been improved by adding quite a bit more, but in broad strokes, this series has amazing performances throughout, absolutely brilliant directing and cinematography, interesting characters, and tells some stories that feel like they need to be told right now.
I'd argue if there's one single problem every episode of this shares to some degree, it's the pacing, and whether or not stuff should have been cut out or added in, but if you have been even the slightest bit affected by the racial justice movements of this last year, then you owe it to yourself to watch this.
And if you'd consider yourself as having not been affected by them at all, then you can probably leave. Just in general.
- May 31, 2021