Fire in Babylon: A documentary on West Indies cricket

A documentary exploring the rise of the West Indies cricket team against the backdrop of their national liberation movements of the 1970s and 1980s will be premiered in the fifth annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival that opens on April 20.

‘Fire in Babylon’, a documentary from the producers of the Oscar-winning films ‘The Last King of Scotland’ and ‘One Day in September’, blends a distinctive sports narrative with music by legendary reggae artists including Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, and Burning Spear.

Fire in Babylon is one of the six documentaries to be screened by the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, which has become the premier showcase for independent films about sports and competition.

The six documentary feature films run the gamut of sports, telling the stories of a foul ball that may have altered MLB history, a team that changed the face of cricket, an Indian boy who was born to run, a tennis pro whose transformation startled the world and one fighter’s humble quest for his 12th UFC middleweight championship.

Fire in Babylon is a tribute to one of the best international cricket teams in recent memory but the sport is just the starting point – and that’s why the film makes such rich and rewarding viewing, according to critics.

Stevan Riley’s Fire in Babylon, premiered in the London Film Festival, tells the story of the all-conquering West Indies cricket team, comprising Clive Lloyd and Vivan Richards and also several of the most lethal fast bowlers of the modern cricket era.

In his documentary, Riley tells us about West Indian national pride and English colonial bad faith.

The West Indies team was once termed as “calypso cricketers” and though they had excellent cricketers of great talent, the team did not win consistently.

In 1975-76, the team was humbled 5-1 in a Test series against Australia that had fast bowlers Jeff Thompson and Dennis Lillee. The West Indies players were part of a generation determined to prove themselves against their former colonial masters.

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