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Watch the Trailer for 'BABYLON'—the South London Film Finally Making Its U.S. Debut After 39 Years

The film made its world premiere at Cannes in 1980 but was "too controversial, likely to incite racial tension" for big screens in the States—until this week.

Just from watching the trailer alone, Babylon is a film that feels like it's come out of a time capsule.

Here's the synopsis:

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.

After the film made its mark at Cannes and Toronto in 1980—it oddly just went straight to VHS. Helmed by Italian-British director Franco Rosso, the New York Film Festival blocked the film from a U.S. theatrical run due to being "too controversial" and for the likelihood of it "inciting racial tension."


"You can think of Babylon as Juice (1992) transposed from George H.W. Bush's America to Thatcher-era Britain, from Harlem to Brixton. Instead of Tupac Shakur you have Brinsley Forde, instead of rap battles you have sound clashes.," Screen Slate explains.

Babylon is currently having its premiere run at Brooklyn's BAMcinematek, which wraps Thursday, March 21. The film then heads to California, screening at LAEMMLE Monica and LAEMMLE Glendale from Friday, March 15.

Check out the trailer and stills from the film below.

BABYLON • Official Trailer HD • Kino Lorber Repertory & Seventy-Seven youtu.be

Photo still courtesy of Kino Lorber Repertory.

Photo still courtesy of Kino Lorber Repertory.

Photo still courtesy of Kino Lorber Repertory.

Listen to Gigi Lamayne and King Monada’s New Gqom Banger ‘Fufa’

Listen to Gigi Lamayne and King Monada's collaborative single 'Fufa.'

Gigi Lamayne's raps and melodies find a new home over a high-tempo gqom beat on her latest single "Fufa." The song features house sensation King Monada, who usually owns the summer in South Africa with his infectious hits. Last year, his hit "Malwedhe" had the whole continent doing the hilarious idibala dance.

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Photo courtesy of Doble Seis Entertainment

Burna Boy, Teni, AKA, Sho Madjozi, Mr Eazi & More Earn 2019 BET Award Nominations

This year's "Best International Act" categories are stacked with some of the biggest names in African pop.

The nominees for this year's BET Awards have been announced, and one again, some of the biggest names in African pop have been named in the " International Act" categories.

This year, Nigerian acts Burna Boy, Mr Eazi have been nominated in the "Best International Act" category. They've each had standout years, with both artists performing at the Coachella Music Festival this year.

They're nominated alongside South African star rapper AKA, who won a Kids' Choice Award earlier this year for "Favorite South African Star," and the French-Malian pop singer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women Aya Nakamura. French-Cameroonian and Togolese rapper Dosseh and UK rappers Dave, and Giggs round out the heavily-stacked category.

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Photo still courtesy of Chika Okoli.

This New Documentary Sheds Light On the History of a Beloved Nigerian Staple—Agege Bread

'Fresh Agege Bread' by Chika Okoli's FABA gives us a much-needed insight into the popularity of Nigeria's coveted Agege Bread.

This new documentary following Nigeria's own Agege Bread contributes to the need of preserving and documenting food culture on the continent.

In Fresh Agege Bread, directed and produced by filmmaker Chika Okoli of FABA (For Africans By Africans), we follow food researcher Ozoz Sokoh as she traces the history and popularity of Agege Bread featuring its pioneering bakers, community figureheads and locals. The documentary touches on the rise of the booming product as well as addresses some of the controversies around the health and safety measures applied in the production of this staple.

For Okoli, the inability to find such insights about this significant food in Nigerian culture is what inspired her to develop this documentary.

"Agege Bread is so popular in Lagos but shockingly, there is very little information about it online and the same can be said about other cultural elements that are significant to our way of life," she shares with us.

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