Babylon

Babylon

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.

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Babylon
  • Babylon

    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...

Extras

  • Ashley Clark and Vivien Goldman on BABYLON

    Programmer and writer Ashley Clark and critic and musician Vivien Goldman discuss Franco Rosso’s BABYLON, a long-lost cult classic and essential document of the UK reggae scene in the 1970s and ’80s.

  • Babylon Without Subtitles

    BABYLON was originally released in the UK in 1980 with English subtitles for the Jamaican patois spoken by the characters in the film. In 2019, Kino Lorber and Seventy-Seven released the film in the U.S., both with and without subtitles. This version features no subtitles.