Small Axe: Alex Wheatle is a focused, intimate portrayal of a real-life novelist

The term “national treasure” is bandied about loosely but it seems the right way to describe Steve McQueen, whose Small Axe anthology of films about the lives of West Indian immigrants in 1960s and 70s London has proven how lucky we are to have him as a British storyteller. 

His final instalment was Alex Wheatle, the tale of the real-life novelist, who was given up by his Jamaican parents in the UK and left to the brutality of a children’s home in Surrey, abandoned to white adults who…

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