See Letitia Wright in First Trailer for 'Mangrove,' From Steve McQueen's 'Small Axe' Anthology Project
By Jennifer Drysdale
Des Willie / Amazon Prime Video.
Letitia Wright is fighting for justice in the first trailer for "Mangrove." Amazon Prime Video released the first look at the Small Axe episode on Thursday.
"Mangrove" tells the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black activists who clashed with London police during a protest march in 1970, and the highly publicized trial that followed. The trial was the first judicial acknowledgment of behavior motivated by racial hatred within the Metropolitan Police.
The trailer comes in time for the 50th anniversary of the event the film is based on. On Aug. 9, 1970, 150 protesters of West Indian, African and South Asian heritage in Notting Hill, West London, marched to local police stations in protest of police harassment in their communities, including the Mangrove restaurant. Nine protest leaders were arrested and charged with incitement to riot: Frank Crichlow, Darcus Howe, Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Rhodan Gordon, Anthony Innis, Rothwell Kentish and Godfrey Millett.
In addition to Wright, "Mangrove" stars Shaun Parkes, Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Nathaniel Martello-White, Richie Campbell, Jumayn Hunter and Gary Beadle. "Mangrove" -- which is an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Festival -- was co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen.
"Sunday, August 9th, is 50 years since the Mangrove March, which led to nine innocent Black women and men being arrested. It was a march necessitated by relentless police brutality in Notting Hill. To commemorate the bravery of these community activists and the nine who went on to be acquitted of incitement to riot with the judge citing 'evidence of racial hatred,' I am sharing the trailer of Mangrove, one of five films to be released under the banner Small Axe," McQueen said in a statement.
McQueen's Small Axe is his first TV project. The anthology is set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s, telling different stories involving London's West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination.
In addition to "Mangrove," the anthology includes "Lovers Rock," "Alex Wheatle," "Education" and "Red, White and Blue." Small Axe will premiere on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. later this year.