Babylon is a real one of a kind film and something that I can’t get out of my head. It’s inspired by the younger years of Dennis Bovell, who was falsely imprisoned for running a sound system in Brixton. The film captures England during a time that is just straight up not represented enough. There have been plenty of films that are based in Thatcher-era England, but not from these perspectives.
Blue is a young man of Jamaican descent living in London. Babylon showcases the authentic day to day challenges that the black youth dealt with and still deal with to an extent in England. Blue works as a mechanic during the day and then performs as a reggae DJ at night. He and his friends run into racist citizens and authorities that make life very difficult. When Blue gets fired from his job, things get a little more intense for him and those around him. All Blue really wants to do is listen to and share reggae music.
I was pretty blown away by the performances in Babylon, but Brinsley Forde is truly mesmerizing as the lead, Blue. The soundtrack stands out just as much as him and it was all composed by Dennis Bovell. I also think Chris Menges is worth mentioning here, because the cinematography is pretty stellar in Babylon. I’m not quite sure what director/writer Franco Rosso has done besides make this gem, but I’m interested now. Babylon is so fucking original and really memorable because of its strong execution.