I have not seen the whole of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe project, comprising 5 movies* each tied together through similar themes: Racism, systemic and societal, and the ways Black Britishers navigate life in England through that racism. What I have seen is uniformly good. Mangrove, for instance, is a low-key and coincidental rebuke to The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is a Hollywoodized version of a story about people being punished by institutions for engaging their right to protest.
Lovers Rock, however, is on another level. At 70 minutes it’s a brisk exercise in making portraiture of Black joy hemmed in by white prejudice and violence. Can’t recommend it enough.
You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.
*They’re movies. They aren’t television. I’m disgusted at Film Twitter even making this a topic of conversation.