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Fire in Babylon [DVD] [2010]

4.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall, Clive Lloyd, Ian Botham, Gordon Greenidge
  • Directors: Stevan Riley
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004P9MVHC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,327 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

From the producers of the academy award winning The Last King of Scotland and One Day in September comes one of the most inspiring stories in sporting history… Fire In Babylon is the breathtaking tale of how the oppressed people of the West Indies fought back and triumphed over its colonial masters, through the remarkable achievements of one of sports most iconic teams. In a turbulent era of apartheid in South Africa; race riots in England and civil unrest in the Carribean, the West Indian cricketers, led by the enigmatic Viv Richards, struck a wonderfully defiant blow at the forces of white prejudice worldwide. Their undisputed skill, combined with a fearless spirit, allowed them to dominate the game at the highest level, replaying it on their own, terrifying, terms. This is their story.


The West Indies cricket team in the 1970s and 80s rightly continues to be regarded as one of the finest of all time. Names such as Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall and Gordon Greenidge played the kind of cricket that remains talked about to this day. But what the film Fire In Babylon does is dig a little deeper, examining the ramifications of what that team achieved off the pitch as well as on it.

Fire In Babylon examines the oppression and prejudice that the West Indies team was batting against, and how it came to gradually overcome them. It looks, too, at just what can be achieved by sporting success, with many of the key names of the time all contributing.

Running to a little shy of 90 minutes, Fire In Babylon blends match footage when it can, and breezes through its running time. Perhaps it doesn’t quite fully match its ambitions, but it does provide a thoughtful, engaging documentary, one whose appeal should extend far beyond followers of cricket. It’s an uplifting piece of work, and one that really deserves to be seen. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Saw Fire In Babylon last week at a preview screening with a friend and despite all the good things I'd heard about it i wasn't keen as I'm not a cricket fan in the least and usually avoid watching it at all costs.
That's why this film interested me - I expected it to be a movie that just cricket fans would like and the rest of us would be left at the wayside thinking what on earth is a goggly... Definitely not the case with this movie.

Taking on the unification of the West Indies, the race riots, the importance of the sport to West Indian communities in the commonwealth, apartheid in South Africa and the amazing winning streak of the Windies, the movie is a fascinating look into 70s-80s history. Plus their lethal fast bowlers, who will have you wincing with pain at the jaw breaking speed, are amazing to watch!

What tips it into 5 stars is the reggae soundtrack! Brilliant. Brings a flair of the Caribbean to the whole film.

I haven't come back loving cricket (or sadly, knowing what a goggly is), but appreciating the sport a bit more and definitely understanding why the West Indies cricket team were spoken of as the best in the world.

At the very least, it has got to get an award nom at the BAFTAs!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of the best documentaries you will see and you don't have to like or understand cricket to enjoy it! The film charts the rise of the greatest cricketing team ever to grace the field, the West Indies between 1975 and 1996. It looks at the politics of race and sport and shows how the only way the Windies could answer injustice and racism was by excelling on the field. Their contribution has benefited cricket as a whole and the level at which all nations have to compete now is far higher than that which existed prior to the rise of the Windies. The film shows the double standards of the English and Australian teams, especially the latter which was happy to dish out dangerous bowling from the likes of Lillee and Thomson but could not take it when the West Indians retaliated with Roberts, Holding, Croft and Garner. The film also shows the struggles of the players, their experiences in Australia, disputes with their own cricketing board, and the bias of the media, as well as how the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people in the Windies and England rested on the success of the cricketing team. I was fortunate to see all of the test matches between England and the Windies in this film and it captures the spirit of the players and the audience as it really was. In fact, audiences of all races appreciated the manner in which the Windies played and the excitement generated even if they hated the results. It is a joyous, uplifting film of an era the likes of which we will never experience again.

The film mixes original footage with commentary from musicians, admirers and many of the players themselves, and music from many local bands and established singers. This is definitely one for a long summer evening in with friends and sets up a summer full of sport...and cricket.
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Format: Blu-ray
I watched the two famous 'blackwash' series between England and the West Indies in 1984 and 1985-86. In few sports do you see such a gulf in talent at the very top level, although Barcelona vs Manchester United might be another good example. Poor England simply got blitzed by perhaps the greatest cricket team to have ever played the game. Watching this complete dismantling of a team had a horrible fascination. Led by a fearsome band of fast bowlers the English batsmen were more interested in survival than playing an aggressive shot. The Windies fast bowlers have become the stuff of cricket legend. The elegant Michael Holding, the towering figure of Joel Garner, the quiet assassin Andy Roberts, the aggressive Colin Croft, and perhaps the finest bowler to have ever played the game Malcolm Marshall. Also rich in batsman like the fearless Viv Richards and a pumped up Gordon Greenidge you had one helluva team. "Fire In Babylon" evokes this era when the new Blitzkrieg style of Caribbean cricket swept like a bush fire across the game, scorching every team in its path for fifteen glorious years. And in my opinion it couldn't have happened to a more deserving cricket nation. It was mesmeric viewing even if you supported the whupped England team.

This documentary concentrates on the rise of this West Indian team, and the problems that they had to surmount. The way they were intimidated and humiliated by an Australian team containing Lillee and Thomson in 1974, which led to the fire fights fire response by captain Clive LLoyd. It was interesting to see how Michael Holding was reduced to tears by racist abuse in Australia during that era. But, boy did he bounce back!
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As a documentary about an incredible team and what motivated them this is absolutely fascinating. It's a brilliant account of how they used a severe beating in Australia at the hands of Lillee and Thomson and the words of England's South African born captain Tony Greig to inspire them and to adopt the 4 fast bowler strategy that terrorised teams for 15 years. Of course, this team had more than just 4 fast bowlers - Sir Viv, Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, etc were world class batsmen too.

With the passing of time it's easy to forget that the emergence of this team as, arguably, the greatest of all time was against the backdrop of racial tension in England and, of course, apartheid in South Africa and the motivation this provided shines through also.

No question that the story is a great one, excellently told and for sure it's of interest not just to cricket fans. What spoilt it for me, and hence the 3 star rating, is that I am a cricket fan who grew into adulthood watching this team, so I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by continuity errors, "flipped" pictures which showed right arm bowlers bowling left arm or right handed batsmen batting left handed and also by the poor quality of all the action footage, presumably done for "effect". There's also a frustrating lack of film from the 75-76 series in Australia and the Packer era which means the same action is repeated, almost too often. So if you're a cricket fan with an eye for detail, you have to park that if you're going to enjoy this film fully. Also given the quality of the action footage, there is no benefit whatever from buying the Blue-Ray version.

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