Fire In Babylon' Captures West Indies' Cricket Peak

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Commentary over the PA system. A cricket wicket with stumps in place. Batsmen
frozen in position after playing glorious shots and a buzz from the growing
audience in amphitheatre-style seating.
Not Sabina Park, Camp Road, on a glorious afternoon of cricket lovely cricket,
but the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, on Saturday night, for graphic
reflection on the halcyon days of the West Indies cricket team.
The Digicel-supported documentary Fire in Babylon made its Kingston premiere to
a standing ovation, as just before the credits rolled former fast bowler and
current cricket commentator, Michael Holding, stated that between February/March
1960 and February/March 1995, the West Indies did not lose a match.
Fire in Babylon puts that West Indies dominance in the context of striking back
against colonialism and racism - literally, with the quick, hostile bowling
quartet core of Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft and Andy Roberts, and later,
Malcolm Marshall, and the mighty batting of Viv Richards.
And, of course, there was the stoic, savvy Clive Lloyd's leadership.
So the development of a team that turned out to be magical, after wilting under
the salvos of the fast, ferocious and feared pair of Australian quickies, Dennis
Lillee and Jeff Thompson Down Under in 1975, was interwoven with the surrounding
historical times. There was the Black Power movement through the Caribbean in
the early 1970s, the wave of black migrants to England, apartheid and socialism.
Although the team's dominance continued for another decade, Fire in Babylon
culminates with the 'Black Wash' of England in 1984.
The sole surviving Wailer, Bunny Wailer, is central to the documentary, which is
steeped in heavy reggae rockers and has a couple touches of mento and dancehall.
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