American Babylon

American Babylon(2000)

American Babylon follows a transforming month in the life of detective Jeff Fauntleroy, a black Atlantic City vice cop who believes he’s on a mission from God. Shot entirely in hand-held cinema-verité style, with an original jazz score, American Babylon takes viewers through the town’s nether world of dealers, rappers, and crooks as Jeff struggles to save his own soul and the soul of his community. Charismatic, wise-cracking and battle-scarred, thirty-eight year-old Jeff Fauntleroy is a family man who lifted himself out of the Atlantic City ghetto by becoming a police officer. With his sometime partner, detective Lonell Jones, Jeff works this resort’s drug-infested backwater, a place he calls the ‘devil’s dungeon’. Day to day, it’s a culture of have-nots seduced by the casino’s get-rich-quick promises and Jeff and Lonell have lived through more than their share of bloodshed. But during this years’ Miss America Pageant, a series of violent, bizarre events converge, transforming Jeff from hard-charging super-cop to his new incarnation as a Baptist minister with a badge. Set in the shadows of glittering hotels and world-class casinos, American Babylon tells a story of rich and poor, black and white, and the dark side of the American dream.

16mm | Color | 87 minutes


Trailer | Reviews | Photographs | DVD


Principal Credits:
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director, Cameraman
DAVID HEILBRONER: Producer
KATE DAVIS: Editor
JOEL HARRISON: Music

Distribution:
US: Court TV
International: Jane Balfour Films, London


Reviews:

“Robert Stone’s splendid documentary… is a timely reminder that there are good, and in some instances extraordinary policeman everywhere. Fauntleroy is a genuine American hero. Its raw edginess is a good fit for the environment it explores.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES

“A must-see. A gritty but gripping film.”
– PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE

“In a manner strongly recalling the Maysles brothers’ masterpiece “Salesman,” Stone’s hand-held camera… is suitably grainy and mobile, handled by Stone as his own operator with mucho courage in the tough hoods.”
– VARIETY


Photographs:


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