The fourth film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe film anthology series, Alex Wheatle, premieres this week on Dec. 11. Shadow and Act has an exclusive preview ahead of the film’s debut on Amazon. The film stars newcomer Sheyi Cole in the titular role.
The description: Alex Wheatle follows the true story of award-winning writer, Alex Wheatle (Cole), from a young boy through his early adult years. Having spent his childhood in a mostly white institutional care home with no love or family, he finally finds not only a sense of community for the first time in Brixton, but his identity and ability to grow his passion for music and DJing. When he is thrown in prison during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, he confronts his past and sees a path to healing. Sheyi Cole stars opposite Jonathan Jules.
Alex Wheatle was co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen.
Small Axe is an anthology series comprised of five original films set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s that tell personal stories from London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination. The title is derived from the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”
In the below clip, Dennis (Jonathan Jules) offers to show Alex the ropes and teach him how to fit in with the Black community in Brixton, from how he talks to the way he walks. In an emotional moment of frustration and honesty, Alex reveals to Dennis that he didn’t have anyone to love and support him while growing up, leading Dennis to open his heart and home to Alex.
Watch the clip below: