As you’d expect from a film dedicated to George Floyd, Steve McQueen’s latest, which opens the London Film Festival, contains many weighty and sombre moments. That said, the true story of how a group of Black activists made legal history, in the early Seventies, is also giddy and gleeful. To borrow a line from one of the main characters, some of the jokes here “could make a stuffed bird laugh”.
Mangrove, screening now at the London Film Festival, is the essential film of the moment. One of five films 12 Years a Slave and Shame director Steve McQueen has made for the BBC and Amazon Prime Video, it tells the story of the Mangrove Nine, a group accused of riot and affray after protesting against the police that had repeatedly harassed those who met at the Mangrove Restaurant, a West
Dir: Steve McQueen; Starring: Shaun Parkes, Letitia Wright, Malachi Kirby; 124 mins.
Steve McQueen’s Mangrove, which opens the London Film Festival, is a rousing courtroom drama which tells the true story of the “Mangrove Nine.” These were the Black defendants put on trial at the Old Bailey in 1971 for riot and affray after taking part in protests against unprovoked police raids of the Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill.
In “Red, White and Blue,” the fifth and final film of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology (and the third to be shown at this year’s New York Film Festival, after the lilting reggae house-party movie “Lovers Rock” and the wrenching social-protest courtroom drama “Mangrove”), Leroy Logan (John Boyega), a British research scientist, figures that he’s had enough of the lonely work of staring at tissue specimens through a microscope, so
Ask yourself: What do the words “Black Power” signify to you? That’s the question several of the Mangrove Nine put to each of the potential jurors in what would prove to be a landmark civil rights trial — one in which nine Black activists were arrested on serious charges after a public demonstration against London police harassment on Aug. 9, 1970, devolved into an incendiary example of the very thing
Watching Lovers Rock is akin to going to see Romeo and Juliet and only staying through the first act, to departing a basketball game after the first quarter, to sipping the soup and skipping the rest of the meal. A mere wisp of a thing, Steve McQueen’s 68-minute feature, the only fictional section of a five-film anthology called Small Axe about London’s West Indian community between the late 1960s and
In the most transporting scene of Steve McQueen’s “Lovers Rock,” we’re at a London house party that has just hit its smoky seductive dirty-dancing groove. It’s 1980, and most of the revelers have West Indian roots. The men, in their natty duds and rasta hats, stand against the wall smoking joints, looking for women to tug by the arm onto the dance floor (a gesture that seems coercive, but is