Steve McQueen's new documentary series Uprising lauded as "hugely powerful"

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

Note: The following article contains discussion of historical accounts of racial violence.

Steve McQueen's new documentary series Uprising has been called by viewers a "hard but necessary" watch after the first episode aired tonight (July 20) on BBC One.

The three-part documentary tells the 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.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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This pioneering documentary by the Oscar-winning director began by telling the story of the young people who were at the party through the voices of those who survived the blaze.

It also chronicled the events that led up to it, the rising tension between Black communities, police, fascist party the National Front and Margaret Thatcher's Tory government.

Whether familiar or not with the historical events, viewers found tonight's watch to be both powerful and harrowing.

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A lot of viewers also praised McQueen's work and his wonderful storytelling.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

The director is known for his award-winning film 12 Years a Slave (2013), while he was also behind last year's BBC anthology series Small Axe, a collection of five films set within London's West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early '80s.

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Uprising continues Wednesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 22 at 9pm on BBC One.

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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