FIRE in Babylon, a documentary on the all-conquering West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and ’80s, was voted the Most Outstanding Film of the just-concluded Reggae Film Festival.
Produced by award-winning United Kingdom filmmakers John Battsek (One Day in September) and Charles Steel (Last King of Scotland), Fire in Babylon gives viewers “a mixture of sharp, inspiring and amusing tales that paint a picture of an extraordinary era when cricket evolved from a game to a revolutionary movement”, the film’s companion handbook explains.
The tales, it added, are delivered through the memories of the members of the team who are now regarded as legends.
“I learned something that I did not know before about West Indies cricket, in that the West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and ’80s — led first by Clive Lloyd and then taken over by Sir Vivian Richards — in fact is the most successful team in the history of team sports, dominating world-class Test cricket for 15 years,” admitted project consultant Colin Leslie.
“That is unprecedented in the history of team sports across the world,” he added. “So the West Indies cricketers have that to their credit; something that very few West Indians know.”
Leslie also claimed that the film has made serious inroads in England and “has become the most successful documentary in the film history of London”.
According to Leslie, a number of universities have expressed an interest of screening the film for their students because of its motivational and inspirational value.