In the late sixties, Frank Crichlow, the Trinidad-born owner of a café in Notting Hill, London, found himself and his establishment the increasing targets of white police intimidation and brutality. A meeting place for the area’s Black activists and intellectuals, the Mangrove restaurant was raided numerous times without any evidence of illegal activity; finally, the fed-up community took to the streets in protest, resulting in the arrests and violent treatment of several demonstrators. An epic piece of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology, this vivid and gripping dramatization of these events and the resulting landmark 1970 court case of the defendants—who came to be known as the Mangrove Nine, and some of whom acted as their own counsel—is a stinging indictment of a system rotted by racism and a powerful portrait of resistance, passionately performed by a remarkable cast, led by Shaun Parkes as Crichlow, Letitia Wright as Altheia Jones, and Malachi Kirby as Darcus Howe. 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.
Watch our Q&A from the 58th New York Film Festival below.
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