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Fire in Babylon

Stevan Riley (2010)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Cricket fans of recent vintage may question whether any side could match the dominance of the Australian team from the late 1990s onwards, but this engrossing documentary may change that view. Director Stevan Riley charts the rise (and rise) of the West Indies cricket team from the trauma of touring Australia in 1975, when fast bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson were at their ferocious best, until the early 80s and beyond. Alongside revealing interviews with cricketing greats like Clive Lloyd, Michael Holding and the peerless Viv Richards, and a pulsating reggae soundtrack that evokes those heady summer days when test cricket reigned supreme on television, the turbulent state of race relations in South Africa, England and the Caribbean is also never far away. The archive footage is sometimes agonising to watch, recalling a time when batsmen wore no protective headgear as they faced the quick-fire onslaught of bowlers Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts and Holding (who's not known as "Whispering Death" for nothing). It's a pity there are no testimonies from their opponents, particularly former England captain Tony Greig, whose ill-judged comments about making the West Indians "grovel" prior to the 1976 series ensured truly painful retribution on his team-mates. But then this is a West Indian story of how a group of talented individuals became unbeatable winners and an inspiration to the entire Caribbean.


Documentary about the West Indian cricket team in the 1970s. Under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd, the team enjoyed a run of international success. The film features interviews with players including Viv Richards, Michael Holding and Andy Roberts and examines the place the team occupied in Caribbean culture.

Cast & Crew

Director Stevan Riley

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: RevolverAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 20 May 2011
Documentary Sport