A charismatic rapper falls in love with a young Jewish girl despite the confines of her religious background.
"Brooklyn Babylon" begins with some pointed intercutting between a Jamaican rap band in rehearsal and a Hasidic wedding in ecstatic progress. The director, Marc Levin, is establishing images of two cultures on a collision course — the setting is the divided Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn — but he is also suggesting how much the two groups have in common. The Rastafarian rappers and the Hasidic celebrators find inspiration in the same biblical tale: that of the love of King Solomon for the Queen of Sheba. It's that very tale, reinforced by references to "Romeo and Juliet" and "West Side Story," that shapes the movie. - Dave Kehr
2001-08-17 | Dave Kehr | Read the New York Times Review of Brooklyn Babylon