Fire In Babylon (2010)
“This one's a belter”
A potent mix of music, politics and sporting prowess.
After a series of humiliating defeats in the mid-1970s, the West Indian cricket team underwent an astonishing transformation from 'Calypso Cricketers' to an unbeatable force. Against the back drop of Caribbean civil unrest, apartheid-era South Africa and race riots in the UK, the team found inspiration from the Black Power movement and took their politics directly to the pitch.
Led by the great Clive Lloyd (and later the legendary Viv Richards), ‘the Windies' assembled an explosive athletic attack on the pudgy colonial game and their former masters. With their ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’ (Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Joel Garner) bowling at over 90 mph, they utterly demolished their opponents and changed the game forever. Intercutting exhilarating match footage from the 1970s and ‘80s with contemporary interviews, Riley explores the politics, the music and mantra behind these incredible individuals and their legendary defiance against oppression.
“Played against the backdrop of the national liberation movements of the ’70s and ’80s, this lively documentary pays tribute to the golden age of cricket in the West Indies as the teammates set out to triumph over their former colonial masters and make a name for themselves on the world stage. This celebration of the power of sports as a vehicle for social change is set to a thumping reggae beat featuring Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, and Burning Spear.” Tribeca Film Festival
A Q&A with producer John Battsek, moderated by ACMI Head of Film Programs, James Hewison, follows the screening.