(U.K./1980—directed by Franco Rosso)
The incendiary Babylon premiered at Cannes in 1980 but went unreleased in the U.S. for "being too controversial” (Vivien Goldman, Time Out). Raw and smoldering, it follows a young dancehall DJ (Brinsley Forde, frontman of landmark British reggae group Aswad) in South London as he pursues his musical ambitions, fighting fiercely against the racism and xenophobia of employers, police, and the National Front.
Written by Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) and photographed by Oscar® winner Chris Menges (The Killing Fields), Babylon is fearless and unsentimental, tempered by the hazy bliss of the dancehall and a blistering reggae and lovers rock soundtrack featuring Johnny Clarke, Dennis Bovell, Cassandra, Aswad and more. You've seen The Harder They Come, maybe even Rockers, but you've never seen anything like Babylon. In English and Jamaican patois with subtitles. (95 min.)
“Babylon is as alive as a movie can be to the mesh of liberating art and hazardous political reality. The reggae soundtrack is a master class of mood – a sonic heartbeat of joy, pain and fury.” -Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
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