This weekend saw The Grenadian High Commission transformed into a screening venue for the documentary Fire in Babylon. The film documents the rise to notoriety of the West Indian Cricket team who in a 15 year span (starting in the 80s) never lost a match.
As a member of the Grenadian Diaspora Youth Forum I thought this would be an excellent film to screen as a child of West Indian parents I know of the excitement and jubilation many other parents of Caribbean descent felt about the brilliance that was the WI cricket team (I can’t say the same now but that’s another story).
I think what resonated most with me about the documentary was the impact that the defiance and skill of the team had not only on uniting the various Caribbean islands together but mostly the effect they had on the world, politically and culturally. They rose together defeating their colonial masters and putting themselves in the books of sporting history.
No matter which country you’re from and which cricket team you may have supported at the time, there’s no doubt that the WI cricket team were a dominating force.
A poignant moment in the film for me was when Viv Richards (who some saw as the Ali of the cricket world due to him turning down large sums of money from the South African cricket association) recalled a moment when the then ostracised WI cricket team who defiantly went to play cricket in Apartheid South Africa. He spoke with Desmond Tutu who told him that the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela wanted to thank them personally for what they were doing in playing in his country.
The documentary is a must see film for all West Indians and not just fans of cricket. The documentary made me feel extremely proud of my heritage and thankful for those who fought not only sporting battles but for the respect of many countries who didn’t respect them.
There are plans to put on further screenings so be on the lookout for updates!