BABYLON (2014) [feature]

(MIFF 2014 )

A sharp, satirical take on the collision of cops, crime and citizen journalism, Babylon does for police what The Thick of It did for politics.

Written by the folks behind Peep Show and Four Lions (MIFF 2010) – as well as The Thick of It and its movie spinoff, In the Loop (MIFF 2009) – this is the feature-length pilot for Channel 4's upcoming series about the point where policing meets PR. If that wasn't pedigree enough, it's also co-directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle, and stars MIFF regular Brit Marling (The East, MIFF 2013; Sound of My Voice, MIFF 2012; Another Earth, MIFF 2011).

Here she plays Liz, an American new-media guru imported to oversee communications for London's Metropolitan Police. But her first day at the office coincides with a series of sniper attacks across the city, making the force's old boy's club the least of her worries.

From her boss, the commissioner (James Nesbitt), to the cops on the street, Babylon is an all-encompassing picture of a police force grappling with 21st-century ideas about freedom of information, transparency and 24-hour news. Finely balancing the line between drama and comedy, and boasting a crisply cinematic aesthetic courtesy of Boyle, it's an impressive start to an intriguing new show.

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