Director Steve McQueen has given us a first look at one of the five episode in his Small Axe anthology, Mangrove. The film recalls a protest march that took in 1970 in Notting Hill, where Black and Asian people came together to protest against police harassment and brutality. It resulted in the arrest of 9 protesters – Frank Crichlow, Darcus Howe, Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Rhodan Gordon, Anthony Innis, Rothwell Kentish and Godfrey Millett – known as the Mangrove Nine. The ensuing trial lasted for 55 days, with the many of serious charges being dropped and the judge acknowledging the racism nature of the police. 50 years on and little has changed in that respect.
McQueen released a statement alongside the trailer saying: “Sunday, August 9, is 50 years since the Mangrove March, which led to nine innocent Black women and men being arrested. It was a march necessitated by relentless police brutality in Notting Hill. To commemorate the bravery of these community activists and the nine who went on to be acquitted of incitement to riot with the judge citing ‘evidence of racial hatred,’ I am sharing the trailer of ‘Mangrove,’ one of five films to be released under the banner ‘Small Axe.’
Mangrove tells the “true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgement of behaviour motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.
Mangrove stars Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby, Nathaniel Martello-White, and Jack Lowden, Steve Toussaint, Shaun Parkes and Alex Jennings.
Other episodes in the series include Lover’s Rock, Red, White and Blue, Education and Alex Wheatle, with the likes of John Boyega, Rochenda Sandall
Small Axe will premiere on BBC One and iPlayer this autumn, and on Amazon Prime Video in the US.
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…
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