Screenings of Alex Wheatle during NYFF58 Redux are free to attend. Advance ticket reservation is required, first-come, first-served.
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The fourth film in Steve McQueen’s ambitious Small Axe anthology is a compact yet intellectually absorbing biopic of the titular writer (Sheyi Cole, in his cinematic debut). Born to Jamaican parents in 1963, Wheatle was abandoned by his family and passed into British social services, enduring the hardships and cruelties of life in a group home. In 1981, he lands in a halfway house in Brixton, where he quickly acclimates to the West Indian neighborhood’s customs and styles, forming something like a family with his new friends and acquaintances. But when the Brixton Riots break out, Alex finds himself incarcerated, leading to a political awakening that changes his life forever. An Amazon Studios release.
Steve McQueen’s Small Axe
Among the most remarkable achievements in recent world cinema, Steve McQueen’s anthology Small Axe consists of five films that stirringly chronicle the experiences of London’s West Indian immigrant community across a tumultuous period from the 1960s through the 1980s. Each film is a distinct and singular work in its own right; taken together, they form a powerful, complex, immersive, and endlessly rich historical portrait of oppression, resistance, and survival, glimpsed through the prism of the post-colonial experience. Join Film at Lincoln Center to celebrate McQueen’s accomplishment with a series of screenings of all five films within Small Axe, including a special two-week run of Lovers Rock (the NYFF58 Opening Night Film).
Watch our latest Q&A with Steve McQueen on the making of Small Axe.
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