Review by Dan Skip Allen
Filmmaker Steve McQueen created his Small Axe anthology to tell the story of the West Indies community in London and feature many rising and established stars in the film industry, including John Boyega, Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, and Kenyah Sandy, who plays the lead in the final installment, Education.
Kingsley lives with his family in London. His parents are workaholics, so they don't realize the help he needs. They send him to a different school that focuses on slow or disabled children. A woman comes along to prove these children have more to offer than previously thought. They just aren't getting the proper education because of their West Indian heritage.
As someone who has a learning disability, I can say that people who can't read, write, or do math are considered "special" in the education system in America. They have classes in every school in every town and state in America. This wasn't always the case, especially in other countries. These kids are thought of as an afterthought of civilization.
Thankfully, some people are looking out for Kingsley and these other children. They are like guardian angels for them. These children deserve the proper education and time it takes to teach them properly. If that takes one, two, three, or more years, just because kids have slow learning skills doesn't mean they won't turn out to be something in society.
As the previous films in the Small Axe series have discussed, Education shows the lack of compassion and empathy for the West Indian community. The English don't want to help these people. More often than not, they think of them as criminals and miscreants. They are considered dregs of society in the eyes of the English authority. This is of course wrong.
Children deserve all the benefits that law and country and state can give them. They shouldn't be caught up in political ideals by those that don't like them. This film shows that there are people who care about children and want to help them. Teachers and educators take an oath to do the best they can to help children unlike in this film.
This film points the finger at the education system in England and how biased it was to underprivileged families. McQueen once again points his camera to very relevant topics in England during the '70s and '80s. This series was great because it touched on many topics still problematic today in the United States as well as in England. That's what makes Small Axe such a great series.
Education, along with all entries in the Small Axe anthology, is now streaming on Amazon Prime.