Bfi Black Star Season: The Harder They Come
‘The definitive postcolonial cult-movie musical.’ Village Voice*The Harder They Come *is the classic story of the high price paid for a rise to fame. Ivan (reggae legend Jimmy Cliff) is a wannabe singer who leaves his rural village to go to Jamaica’s capital Kingston in pursuit of everything that glitters. But he comes a cropper, first mugged of all he owns, then beset by unscrupulous record producers. Undeterred, Ivan shifts into the world of marijuana dealing.
Set against a backdrop of real Jamaican locations, this story of success by any means necessary ranks alongside Scarface as one of the best crime films about urban living. But it is also a genuine social document, for many the first time that they tasted the true delights of the Caribbean on screen or heard characters talking in Patois.
The quintessential reggae movie, with a soundtrack every bit as famous as the film itself (said to have brought reggae to the world), featuring tracks by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, The Slickers and Toots and the Maytals. *The Harder They Come *is a deserved cult classic with a gritty, authentic edge.
Director: Perry Henzell
Starring Jimmy Cliff
Run time: 120 mins
The BFI Black Star Season is Supported by:
BFI Film Audience Network
The National Lottery
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