Banned 1980 Reggae Film Babylon to Screen in Huntington and Feature Q&A With Star Brinsley Forde

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Brinsley Forde as Blue in Franco Rosso's film "Babylon." Photo courtesy of Kino Lorber.

Franco Rosso’s 1980 reggae film, “Babylon,” will be released in America 39 years after debuting at Cannes Film Festival. Although highly acclaimed, the film was banned in the United States and United Kingdom due to its controversial examination of racial relations and discrimination.

On Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m., reggae performer and actor, Brinsley Forde, will attend Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre for a special screening of the controversial reggae film. After the film Forde will discuss his time as the guitarist of acclaimed reggae group, “Aswad,” and his experience starring in Babylon.

Forde was awarded the title of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a British order of chivalry, for his contributions and services in the arts in 2015.  As the front man for Aswad, Forde has been nominated for a Grammy Award twice.  He’s also appeared in the James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever.”


Babylon premiered at Cannes in 1980 but went unreleased in the US for “being too controversial, and likely to incite racial tension,” journalist Vivien Goldman said. It follows a young dancehall DJ in South London as he pursues his musical ambitions, battling against the racism and xenophobia of employers, police, and the National Front. Its soundtrack features Aswad, Johnny Clarke and Dennis Bovell, among others. 

Admission to the event is $17 for the public. However, Cinema Arts Centre members would get entry for only $12.

Submitted by the Huntington Cinema Arts Centre

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