7.4/10
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6 user 4 critic

Small Island 

A gentle Jamaican woman reunited with her husband in post-World War II London encounters both racism and homesickness as she adjusts to her new life.
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1  
2010  
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Naomie Harris ...  Hortense 2 episodes, 2009
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Storyline

In 1939 Hortense, illegitimate but intelligent and ambitious, is brought up on Jamaica with the family of charismatic, free-thinking Michael, who joins the Air Force when war breaks out and goes to England. After the war, Hortense, now a qualified teacher, makes a marriage of convenience to Gilbert Joseph, paying for his passage to England on condition he sends for her. She not only hopes to see Michael again but believes that living in Britain will give her more scope. When she arrives in London in 1948, she is extremely disappointed by the one room in which they must live and the obvious colour prejudice. Queenie, their liberal landlady, is also a woman used to disappointment, marrying decent but dull and sexless Bernard to get her away from the family farm. Whilst Bernard - now presumed missing - was in the Air Force during the war, she first took in lodgers from the armed forces, partly for the company, including Michael, with whom she had sex. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official soundtrack site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Small Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Karl Johnson (Arthur) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Bernard) play father and son. In 2015, they both appeared on stage in Hamlet at the Barbican, where Benedict Cumberbatch played Hamlet, and Karl Johnson played the Ghost of Hamlet's father - another father and son pairing. See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 3 December 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
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User Reviews

 
Truly one of the greatest BBC dramas.
28 April 2019 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Small Island is a truly incredible drama, it gives the story of the lives of a group of people from Jamaica during the second world war, the effects they have on one another, and on a group of locals.

It tells the journey the brave Jamaican fighters undertook, and the gut wrenching racism they had from the people they bravely fought to defend.

Some scenes in the second part will have you close to tears, and some will have you chuckling away, it's an incredible balance.

I have watched many dramas over the years, and I'd have to say this is one of the most powerful I've seen, it tells a story that's often never told, but in light of the Windrush scandal it has an even more powerful impact.

The acting is benchmark standard, it is no surprise that awards followed, Naomie Harris is a revelation, but all concerned are sensational, too many performances to note, but David Oyelowo will near bring you to tears.

It is quite incredible viewing. 10/10


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