Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated mini-series will debut later this year, but a sneak peek reveals that John Boyega will be featured in his own episode.
A Story To Tell
Small Axe, McQueen’s new drama is a stylized drama exploring events during the 1960s -1980s. The series will tell five stories based on the West Indian population of London during this time period. This will provide a glaring look of cultural perspective often ignored. The stories will express the sheer willpower of a community surviving the harsh circumstances of racism and discrimination in a mid-century UK.
The Star Wars actor will star in the Red, White, and Blue episode as Leroy Logan. Logan was a highly decorated Metropolitan Police officer. He enlisted after watching his father’s assault by two policemen as a child. Due to a long crusade and tireless work, Leroy created a huge impact for London. For creating anti-racist policies to reform the police, Logan was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2001. He retired with 30 years of service in 2013 as a superintendent.
Each of the anthology episodes will act as films to thoroughly express the nuances in each story. The other four titles are: Mangrove, Alex Wheatle, Lovers Rock and Education. The Cannes Film Festival this past June nominated all five films. Out of a group of 50, McQueen was one of two Black directors selected. Regardless, McQueen had a specific purpose with who these films would honor.
“I dedicate these films to George Floyd, and all the other black people that have been murdered, seen or unseen, because of who they are, in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere. ‘If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.’ Black lives matter.”
Fight The Power
In true Black Power fashion, John Boyega will not be the only noticeable British name throughout the series. McQueen has enlisted the talents of many newer talents and noted actors like Letitia Wright (Mangrove), Michael Ward and Kedar Williams-Stirling (Lover’s Rock) among others.
The name Small Axe is not just for show. It is also the name of a 1973 Bob Marley & The Wailers song from the album Burnin. The song highlights the fact that marginal voices can outshine louder, oppressive ones. Sounds like a perfect version of a Black Power fist in our current time.