After films like Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Red, White and Blue and Alex Wheatle, award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen is all set to draw curtains on his five-film anthology series with Education. It is the final in a collection called Small Axe by McQueen which is ‘inspired by real-life events about ordinary people showing courage, belief, and resilience to overcome injustice and achieve something transformative in their West Indian community’ in the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.’ Building on the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe,” the films breaks down with systemic racism with strong characters. And Education is no different. It is about a boy who is ill-treated in his own school and subjected to a deep cultural bias like Josette Simon’s narration indicates and it’s heart-breaking.
According to the official synopsis, “Education is the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Kingsley, a boy with a fascination for astronauts and rockets. When Kingsley is called to the Headmaster’s office for disruptive classroom behavior, he is shocked to discover his transfer to a school for those with “special needs.” Distracted by working two jobs, his parents are unaware of what was an unofficial segregation policy at play, preventing many Black children from having the education they deserve until a group of West Indian women take matters into their own hands.”
Kenyah Sandy is playing the part of Kingsley and will be seen alongside srats like Sharlene Whyte, Daniel Francis, Tamara Lawrance and of course Simon. It is co-written by Alastair Siddons and Steve McQueen and is poised to be a compelling watch because McQueen has reflected upon his own experiences while telling the story. He told Bustle, “I had an unfortunate time growing up as a black child in the British Education system. Sadly, I was not alone. Before our research began, I had never heard of the ‘Educationally Subnormal Schools’ that were being formed in the 1970s in this country. As we dug deeper, I realised there was a narrative within this neglect. I combined my own experience with the source material to tell the story of a young Kingsley.”
Education is all set to release on Amazon Prime Video on December 18.
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Cover image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India