Small Axe, a new anthology series, is headed to Amazon Prime Video. It will premiere later this fall. In the meantime, the show got a new official trailer and launch date on Sunday. The star-studded series created and directed by Academy Award, BAFTA, and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen lands on November 20.
The first of five episodes, titled, Mangrove stars Letitia Wright & Shaun Parkes. Lover’s Rock starring Micheal Ward & Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn lands on November 27. Education featuring Kenyah Sandy lands on December 4. Newcomer Sheyi Cole headlines Alex Wheatle (December 11). John Boyega, arguably the biggest name of the bunch will star in the series finale on December 18, titled Red, White and Blue.
Prime Video released the new Small Axe trailer, complete with new footage from all five episodes. In addition, the new trailer will also set to air Sunday night during the Emmys.
This is the latest drama put out by Amazon studios, as they try to carve a niche in the streaming video platform. It joins series like Bosch, one of its biggest critical successes.
Small Axe dives into racial issues
The five episodes center around events from the 1960s through the 1980s in London’s West Indian community. Stories show a group of people whose lives are shaped by their own force of will, despite rampant racism and bigotry.
The title is derived from the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”
Mangrove centers on a Caribbean restaurant owned and operated by Shaun Parkes’ character. He originally wants to live a simple life, but is thrust into a highly publicized trial of local members of the British Black Panther movement. Conversely, a hard-fought win for those fighting against discrimination arrives.
Lover’s Rock, on the other hand, tells the tale of young romance in the 1980s. It centers on the version of reggae music with the same name. The story shows a set of Black youth who found freedom and love in its sound in London house parties.
Saving the best for last?
John Boyega headlines the series for some, but viewers won’t see him until the end of Small Axe‘s run. The Star Wars veteran stars in Red, White and Blue as a forensic scientist-turned-police officer.
His desire to work in law enforcement is born from the naïve hope of wanting to change racist attitudes. He believes this will only work from within. Leroy faces plenty of racism when he joins. He also faces the disapproval of his father, recently assaulted by police.
He’ll have to balance the treatment he receives with a record that shows he’s very good at his job.
The run times for all five episodes are closer to those of feature films. Several portions of Small Axe aired at Cannes earlier this year. Now Amazon Prime viewers get to see what the hype is all about.
Small Axe premiers on September 20, 2020.
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