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Aro Recommended Small Axe Anthology


aka: Mangrove; Lovers Rock; Red, White, and Blue; Alex Wheatle; Education
UK 2020, 407 minutes
Dir. Steve McQueen
Genres: Drama

Topics: Indigenous & Minority Cultures, Period 1970s.


“With its meticulous recreation of the texture of life, Small Axe opens up a Mangrove-like space on television for the celebration and sheer enjoyment of British-Caribbean culture.”~Ellen E Jones, The Guardian

Aroview: An astounding accomplishment for British creator, director and co-writer Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE), this anthology comprises five films and five distinct stories set in London's West Indian community between 1969 and 1982. The title refers to a proverb "Small axe fall big tree" meaning that "If you are the big tree, we are the small axe", which was popularised by Bob Marley in his song "Small Axe".

Mangrove (127m.) tells the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Notting Hill activists who were put on trial in 1970 for protesting against police brutality. Their trial lasted 55 days, and marked the first judicial acknowledgement of racial discrimination within the Metropolitan Police.

Lover's Rock (70m.) is set across a single evening at a house party in 80's West London, telling a fictional story of young love to a soundtrack of Lover's rock, a romantic reggae genre.

Red, White and Blue (80m.) tells the true story of Leroy Logan, a black man who was motivated by racial violence against his father to join the Metropolitan Police and attempt to change the police force from within.

Alex Wheatle (66m.) explores the life of the award-winning writer Alex Wheatle from his childhood in a mostly white children's home, to his youth in Brixton where he participated in the Brixton Uprising of 1981, and his burgeoning passion for music and DJing.

Education (63m.) is a coming-of-age story about a bright 12-year-old who becomes a victim of the insidious, unofficial segregation policies at play within British education of the 1970's. This film is based on the life of Steve McQueen himself.

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DVD Features

  • 2-disc set

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Small Axe Anthology cover
DVD (R4)
Mangrove; Lover's Rock
$6 Rent
DVD (R4)
Red, White & Blue; Alex Wheatle; Education
$6 Rent
Shipping Feb 10
DVD (R4) $34.95 Buy

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