Three New Documentaries From Steve McQueen Coming to Amazon (VIDEO)
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen is bringing a powerful three-part documentary series, Uprising, to Amazon Prime Video.
The series documents three pivotal events from 1981 in the U.K.: The New Cross Fire that killed 13 Black youths, the Black People’s Day of Action, which saw more than 20,000 people join the first organized mass protest by Black British people, and the Brixton riots. Each film examines how these three events are connected and how, in the process, race relations were defined for a generation.
Exploring events and themes depicted in McQueen’s anthology series Small Axe (streaming on Prime Video), each documentary includes first-hand interviews with key participants from the events, many telling their stories for the first time. McQueen directs and executive produces the series alongside James Rogan.
“It is an honor to make Uprising with testimonials from the survivors, investigators, activists, and representatives of the machinery of state”,” said the 12 Years A Slave director. “We can only learn if we look at things through the eyes of everyone concerned; the New Cross Fire passed into history as a tragic footnote, but that event and its aftermath can now be seen as momentous events in our nation’s history.”
Rogan added: “The New Cross Fire that claimed the lives of so many young people and affected many more remains one of the biggest losses of life in a house fire in modern British history. What happened, and how Britain responded to it, is a story that has been waiting to be told in depth for 40 years.”
Alongside Uprising, Amazon will release two other documentaries revolving around the history of race relations in the U.K. The first is Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, directed by BAFTA-nominated director George Amponsah. The documentary looks at how the Black Power movement came into being in the U.K. in the late 1960s and fought back against police brutality and racism, challenging the British establishment and shaping a new political and cultural landscape.
The second is Subnormal: A British Scandal, directed by Lyttanya Shannon, examining one of the biggest scandals in the history of British education, where Black children in the 1960s and ’70s were disproportionately sent to schools for the so-called “educationally subnormal.” It traces its impact on the children and how the Black parents, teachers, and activists joined forces to expose the injustice.
Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, and Subnormal: A British Scandal, Premiere, September 17, Amazon Prime Video