Docs

Amazon Prime Video to debut docs from Steve McQueen this fall

Amazon Prime Video has announced a trio of documentaries set to debut on the service this fall. The three titles, Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance and Subnormal: A ...
August 30, 2021

Amazon Prime Video has announced a trio of documentaries set to debut on the service this fall.

The three titles, Uprising, Black Power: A British Story of Resistance and Subnormal: A British Scandal will debut on Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 17.

Uprising, directed by Steve McQueen (pictured) and James Rogan, is a 3 x 60-minute docuseries examining three events from 1981 in the UK: the New Cross Fire which killed 13 Black youths, the Black People’s Day of Action that saw more than 20,000 people join the first organized mass protest by Black British people, and the Brixton riots. The series will cover how those events are intertwined, and how they defined race relations in the UK.

The series was already commissioned for BBC1, where it aired earlier this year. Rogan Productions, Lammas Park and Turbine Studios produced the series. McQueen, Rogan, Nancy Bornat, Soleta Rogan, Tracey Scoffield, Anna Smith Tenser and David Tanner worked as executive producers on Uprising, with Helen Bart serving as series producer.

BAFTA-nominated director George Amponsah will helm Black Power: A British Story of Resistance. The 90-minute feature documentary covers the Black Power movement in Britain from its beginnings fighting back against police brutality and racism in the late 1960s to challenging the British establishment and helping shape a new political and cultural landscape in the UK.

Finally, Subnormal: A British Scandal will also debut. The hour-long documentary directed by Lyttanya Shannon examines a scandal in British education where Black children were disproportionately sent to schools for the so-called “educationally subnormal” in the 1960s and 1970s. The documentary examines debates on race and intelligence that led to the scandal, as well as the impact it had on the children affected, while illuminating how Black parents, teachers and activists worked together to force the British educational system to change.

McQueen serves as EP on both Black Power and Subnormal, originally commissioned for the BBC, alongside James Rogan, Tracey Scoffield and Soleta Rogan. Both documentaries were produced by Rogan Productions, Lammas Park, Turbine Studios and Amazon Studios.

McQueen’s past work includes 12 Years a Slave, Widows and the BBC1 and Amazon anthology series Small Axe. The documentaries each explore key themes or events depicted in Small Axe, with first-hand interviews with key participants, many of whom are telling their story for the first time.

“It is an honor to make Uprising with testimonials from the survivors, investigators, activists, and representatives of the machinery of state,” McQueen said in a news release. “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.”

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