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Fire in Babylon (2010)

Ian Botham , Colin Croft , Stevan Riley  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Botham, Colin Croft, Jeffery Dujon
  • Directors: Stevan Riley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tribeca
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005B0QYRM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,790 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A must see! --Salon.com

A nostalgic look back at one of sport s greatest teams! --Empire

Product Description

Product Description

From the producers of Academy Award®-winning films The Last King of Scotland and One Day in September comes the captivating story of the domination of the West Indian cricket team who, with a combination of phenomenal skill and fearless spirit, became one of the greatest teams in sports history.

Told in the words of legendary and revered players including Sir Viv Richards, Michael Holding and Sir Clive Lloyd, FIRE IN BABYLON illustrates how this exceptional team fundamentally changed the sport forever. With their mastery of fast-bowling pitches that sometimes reached 90 miles per hour, they hijacked the genteel game of the privileged elite and replayed it on their own terms.

With impressive archival footage and a robust soundtrack that includes the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gregory Isaacs, Faithless and Horace Andy, FIRE IN BABYLON celebrates the emancipation of a people through sport, and paints a fascinating picture of an era rooted in sports, politics, pride, anti-colonial fury and music.

Special Features

  • Interview with Director Stevan Riley and Producer John Battsek

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Up Stand up July 22, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is a wonderful documentary portraying the world of West Indian Cricket,through the prism of colonialism. The great CLR James wrote a a masterpiece called Beyond A Boundary ,in which he attempted to do the very same thing. This movie begins with the era of Independence in the Carribean ,the great former players{ Garfield Sobers being the greatest] and the formation of the West Indian squads.After a humiliating test in 1975 and 1976 against Australia in which the Batters were intimidated and injured by the furious style of the Aussie bowlers[not to mention the horrific racist epithets and virulent disgusting racist taunting from the crowd] the West Indian team went in search of a new model.The found one. They began to play hard fast cricket, bowling at incredible speeds, using the same intimidating tactics that was used against them. The two huge highlights are the tests against England,where the former colonial masters are humiliated beyond description, and then revenge down under where the Aussies were whipped at their own game, and the Great Viv Richards dominated. Interspersed throughout are interviews withe the players, commentary from Bunny Wailer, gorgeous beats from Bob Marley and Burning Spear among others and great highlights. As sociology,as politics, as humanity unfolding, and a downtrodden people regaining their rightful place,as a genuine new west Indian culture erupting, as sport and as sheer fun, this is a great film. HUgely recommended for everyone.Wonderful!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A STORY WELL TOLD August 8, 2011
By Leslie
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
The story of west indies cricket wonderfully brought to life. Must see for all west indian people. very informative and educational.Instills pride. West Indies cricket would never achieve those heights again so watch it, buy it. It's a valuable part of our history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Those with any sort of interest in cricket should be enthusiastic about the release of "Fire in Babylon." This intense and eye-opening documentary from Stevan Riley tracks the evolution of the West Indian cricket team from its inception to its inevitable place as International champions. Their struggles and successes happened in a worldwide arena of racism, political maneuvering, and apartheid. Far from being a traditional underdog story (and at heart, that's what it is), this is an illuminating look at how the sport developed and the historical context in which this small group of players challenged the status quo. The team's success is mirrored in how this small chain of islands asserted a newfound national pride and identity after years of colonial rule. By taking the English gentleman's sport and appropriating it as a field of battle, it changed cricket forever (for good and for bad).

Riley has assembled all of the prominent names that you might expect to look back on a certain era (most of the footage deals with the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties). It documents that the early team notoriety was as entertainers with no particular talent for the sport and notes that the turning point was when they were decimated by the fast bowl pitches of the Australians. Employing many of the same techniques, the West Indians created a better and more formidable team with four of these notorious fast bowlers. As their reputation grew (both for talent and brutality), they ascended to the heights of cricket.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Great September 5, 2011
Format:DVD
I wish all those who love as well as hate west indian cricket to take a look at this dvd.......this is a must see I totally loved and enjoyed this dvd....ligosco@yahoo.com
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's more than a game October 17, 2011
Format:DVD
James A. Stewart, DVD Verdict --Riley's Fire in Babylon profiles the West Indies Cricket Team, which controlled the sport from 1980 to 1995. The story starts with the "Calypso Cricketers," actually seen singing in some vintage footage from 1975; that team was dismissed by the world of cricket, as it rarely ended a match with anything to sing about. The turning point came with a drubbing--both on the field and with hostile fans--at an Australian test match that year. The team learned its lesson from their often-violent Australian rivals and got tough. A year later, their "head-on onslaught" put the team from India--and everyone else--on notice.

Fire in Babylon features lots of video from the team's rise to cricket power, often with the original sports announcing. It also provides quotes from the players and team captains who fueled the West Indies victories. However, this isn't a sports documentary--not exactly, at least. What Riley sets out to do isn't to show a team working hard to become champions. Instead, he wants to show what happens when they do.

The nations of the West Indies had only recently achieved independence, often with violent clashes. They were also islands, with little common ground. "Could we beat our former masters at the game they created?" one player asks; the answer was yes, demonstrated in a 1985 test match against England. The rise of the cricket team brought unity to the region and encouraged the islands' emerging culture, a message hit home by Bunny Wailer of Bob Marley and the Wailers, who offers frequent commentary. Eventually, the team was a symbol of black power in Africa as well.

The picture quality is highly variable; some of those old cricket videos are full of scratches and spots.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Cricket
Disappointing given the import of the subject. More talking heads than fast bowling. And why the choice of West Indies' bodyline fast bowling when there are so many instances of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ray Taras and Marjorie Castle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary
Absolutely wonderful it exemplifies the power that we poses once we believe that we can do what we set out to achieve. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sean Maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I am glad to have learned the "back story" of the team and how they came to be a powerhouse! Read more
Published 3 months ago by bibliotheme
5.0 out of 5 stars For the cricket lovers
Superb documentary with all the necessary ingredients including an excellent soundtrack. If you love cricket, you will not be disappointed
Published 3 months ago by Andrew Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars Cricket lovers _ worth watching.
Nicely made, cricket lovers will enjoy the way it unfolds and brings back memories of the days when Pace bowling and bouncers were the name of the game.
Published 4 months ago by dbhagat
5.0 out of 5 stars For all cricket fans
It was very entertaining and gave me an insight into the cricket world during that era. The reggae soundtrack is an added bonus.
Published 4 months ago by kayfoster
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in Babylon: The example of aggressive yet controlled sports...
This is a very informative documentary of the West Indies cricket team rise to glory and world domination during the 70's through the early 90's. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Calvert Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for the Cricketer in your life.
Bought this for my Dad who is an ex semi-professional cricket player and enthusiast. He enjoyed it and said he learned some things he didn't know about the players and the sport.
Published 6 months ago by Kevin P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Every cricket fan should this one
Very good commentary of the greatest era of Caribbean cricket, I learnt a lot about what happened on the cricket field during that time in history, I guess cricket really started... Read more
Published 7 months ago by dayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentry
I would recommend this documentary to anyone who enjoys a great story, even those who don't follow cricket. Fantastic classic footage.
Published 10 months ago by Terry
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