Blu-ray Release: Small Axe: Five Films by Steve McQueen

Blu-ray Release Date: April 25, 2023
Price: Blu-ray $69.99
Studio: Criterion

With the five films that make up his Small Axe anthology, director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) offers a richly evocative panorama of West Indian life in London from the 1960s through the ’80s—a time defined for the community by the terror of police violence, the empowering awakening of political consciousness, and the ecstatic escape of a vibrant reggae scene.

Ranging in tone from the tenderly impressionistic to the devastatingly clear-eyed, these powerfully performed portraits of Black resistance, joy, creativity, and collective action—all sumptuously shot by Shabier Kirchner—form a revolutionary counter-history of mid-twentieth-century Britain at a transformational moment.

The three-disc Small Axe: Five Films by Steve McQueen collection includes the following features:

• New high-definition masters of all five films, approved by director Steve McQueen, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks
• New conversation between McQueen and writer and professor Paul Gilroy
• Behind-the-scenes featurettes including interviews with McQueen, executive producer Tracey Scoffield, writing consultant Alex Wheatle, and members of the Small Axe cast
• Uprising (2021), a three-part documentary codirected by McQueen and James Rogan about the tragic 1981 New Cross house fire
• Audio conversation among McQueen, music producer Dennis Bovell, and Beastie Boys member Mike D
• Trailers
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• An essay by film programmer and critic Ashley Clark

Buy or Rent Small Axe: Five Films by Steve McQueen

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.