New Steve McQueen Docs Coming to Amazon Prime


Three new documentaries from Steve McQueen are set to hit Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and Canada on September 17.

Uprising, a three-part series consisting of hour-long episodes directed by McQueen and James Rogan, examines three events from 1981 in the U.K. to reveal how they are intertwined and how race relations were defined for a generation.

The series will look closely at the New Cross Fire that killed 13 Black youths, the Black People’s Day of Action, which saw more than 20,000 people join the first organized mass protest by Black British people, and the Brixton riots.

“It is an honor to make Uprising with testimonials from the survivors, investigators, activists and representatives of the machinery of state,” said McQueen. “We can only learn if we look at things through the eyes of everyone concerned; the New Cross Fire passed into history as a tragic footnote, but that event and its aftermath can now be seen as momentous events in our nation’s history.”

“The New Cross Fire that claimed the lives of so many young people and affected many more remains one of the biggest losses of life in a house fire in modern British history,” said Rogan. “What happened, and how Britain responded to it, is a story that has been waiting to be told in depth for 40 years. In the series, survivors and the key participants will give their account of the fire, the aftermath, the impact it had on the historic events of 1981 and the profound legacy it has left behind.”

The 90-minute film Black Power: A British Story of Resistance was directed by George Amponsah and explores how the Black Power movement came into the U.K. in the late 1960s and fought back against police brutality and racism. It features rare archival footage of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael’s activities in Britain, as well as footage of leading figures of the movement in the U.K.

The hour-long documentary Subnormal: A British Scandal, directed by Lyttanya Shannon, looks into one of the biggest scandals in the history of British education when Black children in the 1960s and ’70s were sent to school for the “educationally subnormal.” It explores the debates on race and intelligence that led to the scandal, the devastating impact it had on the children involved and illuminates how Black parents, teachers and activists came together to expose the injustice and force change.

“Looking at the past is an indication of what we have achieved today,” said McQueen. “These two documentaries show us how far we still have to travel for liberty and justice.”

All three documentaries explore themes and events depicted in McQueen’s Small Axe anthology, which is currently available on Prime Video in the U.S. and Canada. McQueen is an executive producer on all three, alongside Rogan, Tracey Scoffield and Soleta Rogan, with Rogan Productions, Lammas Park, Turbine Studios and Amazon Studios producing.