Skip to main content
Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Franco Rosso • 1980 • United Kingdom, Italy
Starring Brinsley Forde, David N. Haynes, Trevor Laird
A long-lost reggae classic reemerges. Suppressed following its Cannes premiere for fear that it would stoke racial tension, Franco Rosso’s incendiary portrait of sound-system culture in 1980s South London follows a young dancehall DJ (Brinsley Forde, frontman of landmark British reggae group Aswad) as he pursues his musical ambitions, battling fiercely against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbors, police, and the National Front. Featuring beautifully smoky cinematography and a blistering soundtrack, BABYLON is a raw, fearless howl of defiance tempered by the hazy bliss of the dancehall.
This version of BABYLON is presented with subtitles for the Jamaican patois and UK slang spoken by characters in the film. There is also an alternate version below that will default to playing without subtitles.