Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Steve McQueen's powerful Small Axe anthology shares a first look at Alex Wheatle

Illustration for article titled Steve McQueens powerful iSmall Axe/i anthology shares a first look at iAlex Wheatle/i
Photo: Amazon Prime

Mangrove is stirring and Lovers Rock just might be the most exuberant thing we’ve seen all year, so expectations are high for the rest of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology. Red, White And Blue, starring John Boyega, lands on Amazon Prime on Friday, but today the streamer shared the first trailer for Alex Wheatle, the fourth film in the 12 Years A Slave director’s exploration of London’s West Indian community in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s.

Based on a true story, Alex Wheatle stars newcomer Sheyi Cole as the titular writer, who, having grown up without a family of his own, builds a community in Brixton. There, he cultivates an interest in music and DJing before landing in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981. (Wheatle would go on to become a celebrated novelist and playwright.)

As the below trailer demonstrates, the film dovetails with the others in McQueen’s anthology by intertwining the musical and culinary joys of the local culture with the air of unrest simmering beneath the surface. Check it out below:

Alex Wheatle arrives on Amazon Prime on December 11, with the anthology’s final film, Education, premiering on December 18.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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