Steve McQueen: “Small Ax tells the stories that the British collective memory has repressed”


INTERVIEW – The Oscar-winning director of 12 Years A Slave retraces in his miniseries, to discover on Salto, the struggles of migrants from the Caribbean to integrate into the Great Britain of the post-war boom. Two episodes of this anthology received the Cannes 2020 label.

Steve McQueen is the uppercut filmmaker. Without concession, without sentimentality, his camera leans where it hurts: on our impulses, our injustices, our most brutal oppressions. Hunger evoked the prison ordeal of IRA militants, Shame sex addiction,12 Years a Slave the horror of slavery. With this story, the former visual artist became the first black director to win the Oscar for best film in 2014. Small Ax, the most prestigious acquisition of the Salto platform to date, sees the Briton, born to parents from Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago, try his hand at the art of the series and break the “Silence of fiction around racial questions”.

Small Ax owes its name to an African proverb popularized by a Bob Marley hit. Its five episodes, or films as Steve McQueen designates them, where Letitia Wright (Black panther) and John Boyega (Star wars), retrace the struggles of migrants from the Caribbean to integrate into Great Britain

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