London Film Festival 2010: “Fire in Babylon” is gorgeous

Viv Richards, the peerless genius of West Indian batsmen, fixes the camera with his steely glare. The very same one he used when joining combat with the best bowlers in the world before hammering them all over the boundaries. Impervious to pain and chewing gum he would stand defiantly, proudly at the crease taking whatever bruising punishment came his way. Richards stares at the camera, “My bat could have been my sword at that time.”

Stevan Riley’s superb film “Fire In Babylon” documents the rise to power of the West Indian Cricket team in the 1970s to their total world domination of a sport that was originally used by their British colonial masters as a means of subjugation and humiliation. Undefeated for 15 years, Clive Lloyd’s team became a focal point for West Indian independence, black consciousness and the fight against apartheid. Continue reading