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Brooklyn Babylon


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tariq Trotter, Karen Starc, Bonz Malone, David Vadim, Rahzel
  • Directors: Marc Levin
  • Writers: Bonz Malone, Marc Levin, Pam Widener
  • Producers: Bonz Malone, Alex Gibney, David Peipers, Ezra Swerdlow
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B1VP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brooklyn Babylon" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Brooklyn Babylon dvd

Customer Reviews

It deals with prejudice between black and jewish people with love and a baby resulting from the lead characters.
"soopamichael"
At first, I thought the ending was too abrupt, but after I let the film sink in, I grew to appreciate its symbolism.
Miami Nights
You could truly feel the chemistry between them (it was very sensual, very real) and the story was well written.
Clarissa Bolding

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Roundtree on November 22, 2004
Format: DVD
Okay, I have to admit, I bought the DVD only because Black Thought was on the cover. Being the huge Roots fan that I am, I felt obligated to give it a viewing. I was not greatly impressed with the script until I considered the source, Bonz Malone (he plays Scratch in the film.) The original script was only 10 or so pages long, meaning that a lot of the dialogue is improvised and it feels that way. Tariq does hold his own as does the female lead, to me, the "supporting" cast is where the film folds up shop. This is a great film that can be used in an educational setting perhaps in a Social Studies class. Reason being because it focusing in on tolerance and helps to bring to light some of the parallels that the two waring fractions have in common. This is best demonstrated during the dinner scene at Sara's house. At any rate, I guess I have to justify my rating of four stars. Two stars because of the soundtrack alone, which by the way is not available (what a pity). The other two stars are earned because of what it is trying to convey; despite the differences that society has being focused on for eons, we still have more things in common, one of which is the ability to love.

Just give it a viewing if you know someone who owns the movie and make your own decision. That is my two cents worth.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Murray on February 23, 2002
Format: DVD
This is an independent film about forbidden love and the ensuing violent cultural clashes between Brooklyn's African-American and Jewish Communities. The storyline is somewhat predictable, but the film's musical score, detailed cinematography, and suprisingly decent acting make it a worthwhile watch. The chemistry between the main characters Sol (Tariq Trotter) and Sara (Karen Goberman), was not entirely believable, and the acting by the secondary actors could have used some touching up. Allusions to Ancient Babylon and King Solomon's Empire put an interesting twist on the story. You will see visually spectacular footage of Brooklyn's Carribean Festival (a kind of Mardi Gras celebration). If you've never seen or heard the Roots perform, you are in for a treat. They present an evocative style of Hip-Hop, without relying on those played out themes (i.e. money, sex, violence). The sound they create is truly organic and full of musical integrity. Yes, we've seen forbidden love stories before, but none quite like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By nazaright on July 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I find it shocking that almost everyone saw this as a retread of the Romeo & Juliet or West Side Story kind of forbidden love tale when the device the plot actually hinges on is the Biblical Song Of Solomon and the Ethiopian legend of Solomon & Sheba. The story and plot follow the story told in the Song Of Solomon much more than they do Romeo & Juliet. As a Jewish man, who happens to be a hip-hop artist, that is married to a Jamaican Rastafarian Brooklynite woman, maybe I found this story just way too irresistable.
No Brooklyn Babylon isn't a cinematic classic, but it beats almost everything else geared towards the young urban demographic with it's intelligence & relatability.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By supastar on June 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Excellent music, excellent performances by the roots and even Spragga Benz, I'd like to get the soundtrack if its available. The story bases itself loosely around the Song of Solomon, and lets you know of how the rastas see themselves as descendant of Solomon (jewish king) and Sheba. The garden scene and others all mirror that earliest and greatest of love poems, and that's where the narrator gets his stuff from. I thought the movie was better than most people did, maybe a little cliche, but well acted, not overacted, and just good to watch, good brooklyn scenes. Even the cameos are well done (slick rick).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miami Nights on May 31, 2001
Format: DVD
I have to disagree with the first reviewer.
This film is easy going, mellow and uncomplicated. In other words, it's realistic in its simplicity.
Sure, the Romeo and Juliet storyline has been done many times before, and "Brooklyn Babylon" isn't some grand retelling of R & J.
And that's why it's strong.
Unlike "Romeo + Juliet" and "Romeo Must Die" this film doesn't rely on flair, flash and occasional overacting to drive the story.
The relationship between the two leads is believable and yes, while at first, it's the differences between them that attracts them to each other, when you break it down, they love each other DESPITE those differences.
And they do make a good couple on screen. The pairing of Tariq Trotter and Karen Goberman is much more believable than that of DiCaprio-Danes and Jet Li-Aaliyah in their respective movies.
At first, I thought the ending was too abrupt, but after I let the film sink in, I grew to appreciate its symbolism.
At the very least, if you're a Romeo and Juliet fan, rent this movie. Approach the film with an open-mind, not with that of a professional critic or with the mindset of someone looking for the meaning of life and the question of why we are here.
It does have insight if you allow it to show you that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
this film is just horrible:
1. although this movie is nominally concerned with the evils of racism, it uses some really ugly racial sterotypes. the west indian day parade is depicted at a mindless orgy of primitives in strange costumes. in fact, there's an important spiritual side to carribean festivals, which this film totally ignores. the black folks are shown to be just a bunch of weed-smoking, irrational fools. consider the bizare advice sol's "father figure" gives him, and note the sceen where one brother procures some explosives -- and from whom? an arab. there's also the standard "big momma" character with a fake sounding west indian "you mus get an educaaashun"-type accent thrown in.
2. the film is narrated in a very way. not only are his vocal effects overdone, but the narrator breaks in to explain what's going on at times when doing so is unnecessary. there's never a need to have a narrator do a recap; the story itself should be clear.
3. the two main characters don't work well together. there's no sense that these two people would ever like each other, much less fall in love. the only thing it could be is the attraction of "the other" which was emphasized in mississippi masala, but either ignored here or handled in a trite -- "can i touch your hair" -- and offensive way.
4. brooklyn babylon just doesn't add anything to the genre. from "west side story" to "china girl" to "romeo must die" we've seen r&j material explored from a variety of stupid angles. why add another film to this mess? what was the director's new vision? other than changing the racial/gender dynamics slightly, there's no difference between this and any other r&j clone.
okay, the sound track is great. and, at times, the two main characters demonstrate some acting talent. So there are a few good spots, but there's not nearly enough to go around.
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