Fire in Babylon

Film Review by Chris Fyvie | 16 May 2011
Film title: Fire in Babylon
Director: Stevan Riley
Starring: Viv Richards, Clive Llyod
Release date: 20 May
Certificate: 12A


Stevan Riley (Blue Blood, Rave Against the Machine) here turns his gaze on Clive Lloyd’s magnificent, brutal and bloody fast West Indies cricket side of the 70s and 80s. Charting their rise from rag-tag, soft-touch entertainers (think Kevin Keegan's Newcastle, with a better soundtrack) to perhaps the greatest sporting unit ever to grace a field, Riley has created an enthralling watch. Through the breathless intercutting of stunning still photography and wince-inducing TV replays, the film perfectly captures the aggression and grace of Lloyd’s men. The cricketing footage is nothing short of exhilarating, but the real success is in recounting the effect this squad had on the region; the poetry and enthusiasm of non-sporting contributors speaking to the love in which they are still held. Unifying the disparate West Indies isles and giving rise to their political awakening, a sports team and, in particular, Viv Richards (as impressive a man as he was a player), never so embodied the land it represented.