Steve McQueen to bring new TV projects to Amazon inspired by Small Axe

·2-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen is debuting three new documentaries on Amazon Prime Video.

The documentaries, Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, and Subnormal: A British Scandal have all been inspired by McQueen's Small Axe series, a collection of five films set within London's West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early '80s.

Uprising, the three-part series which McQueen co-directed with documentarian James Rogan, first aired in July on BBC One to rave reviews.

Photo credit: Evan Agostini/AP
Photo credit: Evan Agostini/AP

It tells the true story of the New Cross house fire of 1981, in which 13 young Black British people lost their lives during a house party. While the fire was believed to have been an attack, no one was ever charged for it and its aftermath would ignite an uprising by the Black British community.

"We can only learn if we look at things through the eyes of everyone concerned," McQueen said. "The New Cross Fire passed into history as a tragic footnote, but that event and its aftermath can now be seen as momentous events in our nation's history."

Directed by George Amponsah, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance tells the story of the Black Power movement in the UK. Featuring rare footage of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael's UK speeches, as well as prominent faces in the British movement, such as Darcus Howe, Altheia Jones-LeCointe, and Roy Sawh, the film looks at how the Black Power movement began in the UK.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: 12 Years a Slave director claims UK films and TV shows are "so far behind in terms of representation"

Subnormal: A British Scandal, directed by Lyttanya Shannon, looks at one of the biggest educational scandals ever, where during the '60s and '70s huge numbers of Black children were being sent to schools for the "educationally subnormal".

The film will explore its impact on the children it affected, and reveals how Black teachers, parents, and activists exposed the injustice, ultimately forcing the British educational system to change.

"Looking at the past is an indication of what we have achieved today," said McQueen about Black Power and Subnormal. "These two documentaries show us of how far we still have to travel for liberty and justice."

Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, and Subnormal: A British Scandal will be available on Amazon Prime Video on September 17.

For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.

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