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Encore Screening: Babylon

Directed by: Franco Rosso | 1980 | 1h 35m | Unrated

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O Cinema Miami Beach

500 71st St, Miami Beach (786) 207-1919

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• General Admission – $9.00
• O Cinema Members – $7.50
(All tickets are available online and at the box office. Prices for special events and select screenings may vary. Please note ticket prices before you complete you purchase. All prices are subject to change without notice.)

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With the Support Of

O Cinema & Hip-Hop House is proud to present an encore screening of  BABYLON! Never-before released in North America, Franco Rosso’s incendiary BABYLON had its world premiere at Cannes in 1980 but went unreleased in the U.S. for “being too controversial, and likely to incite racial tension”.

“Reggae music and soundsystem culture are Babylon’s anchor. Babylon is most assuredly a window into a moment in time. Had it not generated such a cult following, we might have missed the lessons it has to offer all these years later.”
— Grace Shutti, AFROPUNK

Raw and smoldering, it follows a young dancehall DJ (Brinsley Forde, frontman of landmark British reggae group Aswad) in South London as he pursues his musical ambitions, battling fiercely against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbors, police, and the National Front. Written by Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) and shot by two-time Oscar® winner Chris Menges (The Killing Fields) with beautifully smoky cinematography that has been compared to Taxi Driver, BABYLON is fearless and unsentimental, yet tempered by the hazy bliss of the dancehall set to a blistering reggae and lovers rock soundtrack featuring Aswad, Johnny Clarke, Dennis Bovell, and more.

You’ve seen The Harder They Come, maybe you’ve seen Rockers, but you’ve never seen anything like BABYLON.

MC of Honor: St James

St James was born in the neighborhood of Little Haiti in Miami Florida. After graduating high school he traveled to Barcelona where he managed a company and then to Amsterdam where he went to school and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Engineering. Upon returning to the states he in several major studios from Miami to LA and got involved in community organizing with groups like Green Peace, Dream Defenders, and Black Lives Matter. James has always been both an artist and an activist who believes in utilizing the power of music and love to overcome social hardships and uplift his community. He now works with Guitars Over Guns as a mentor at North Miami Middle and Senior High School where he teaches guitar and spoken word poetry.

“Like the reggae music that pulses through it, Babylon is rich, rough and real. And like the streetlife of the young black Londoners it portrays, it’s threatening, touching, violent and funny. This one seems to explode in the gut with a powerful mix of pain and pleasure.”
– VARIETY

“An English cousin to the earlier Jamaica-set films ‘The Harder They Come’ and ‘Rockers’ that is vastly superior in cinematic terms and just as valuable as a cultural document.”
– HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“All of that observation in Babylon amounts to something that still feels new. You’re looking at people who, in 1980 England, were, at last, being properly, seriously seen.”
– NEW YORK TIMES

“The cast’s rumble and spark are draw enough, but there’s also Chris Menges’ textured urban cinematography and Rosso’s empathetic direction, like neorealism rewired and amplified.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES

“Babylon brims over with life in ways that few films of recent vintage could manage, a movie-moment that remembers when “One Love” was enough to end any argument and calm any troubled waters.”
– MOVIE NATION