Bfi Black Star Season: The Harder They Come

  • 15

Performance times

This film is not currently showing in cinemas.

BFI Black Star is the UK’s biggest ever season of film dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors in some of the finest performances ever committed to film. Read more at

‘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

Jamaica 1972

Starring Jimmy Cliff

Run time: 120 mins

The Harder They Come is part of the BFI’s BLACK STAR season, taking place UK-wide, supported by the Independent Cinema Office and Film Hub North West Central, part of the Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

The BFI Black Star Season is Supported by:

BFI Film Audience Network

The National Lottery


Text supplied by third party.

Tell us more about this listing.