BBC Studios Americas, Inc. and Amazon Studios
Small Axe gives us one of the first sustained and intimate examinations of the post-World War II Windrush generations of immigrants to England from the Caribbean. These beautiful but fierce stories of love, family, community, resistance in the new country showcase a pivotal generation of Black West Indian immigrants. The anthology’s five films honor the sacrifices made, hardships endured, culture asserted, and battles fought—the small and large acts of courage and confidence—all for immigrant dreams of possibility. In the face of an unyielding empire, anti-Black racism, and a structured class system often stacked against them, the Windrush generation challenged many of the foundational conceptions of what it means to be British.
The series vividly communicates in powerful and lovingly-layered detail the determination, power, and vision of Black intellectuals, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, youth, and teachers who struggled to make a life in their new home. Portrayed through the poetics and intimacies of everyday life, the richness of culture and music, and the collective power of social movement and political action, Small Axe is a stunning emotional testament, offered as a political prism and intellectual history by the uncompromising commitment of Steve McQueen.
For the magnitude of its marvelous stories, as well as its brilliant and groundbreaking celebration of the Windrush generation’s pivotal contributions to redefining Britain, Small Axe wins a Peabody Award.