Perry Henzell, The Harder They Come, 1972 (still); image: courtesy New World Pictures/Photofest

Film

The Harder They Come

Part of Modern Cinema: Johnnie To

“Reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff is Ivan, a rural Jamaican musician who journeys to the city of Kingston in search of fame and fortune. Pushed to desperate circumstances by shady record producers and corrupt cops, he finally achieves notoriety — as a murderous outlaw. Boasting some of the greatest music ever produced in Jamaica, The Harder They Come brought the catchy and subversive rhythms of the Rastas to the U.S. in the early 1970s.”
— Criterion.com

The Harder They Come perfectly reflected the political climate of the times, when similar forms of anti-government movements were sweeping America and the world. Audiences were ready to identify with a film about a hero who would ‘rather be a free man in my grave/than living as a puppet or a slave.’ Especially if you could dance to it.”
— Michael Dare, Criterion.com


Film Details

Country: Jamaica

Language: English
Year: 1972
Running time: 120 min
Format: DCP
Director: Perry Henzell
Producer: Perry Henzell
Cinematographers: Frank St. Juste, David McDonald, Peter Jessop
Editors: John Victor Smith, Seicland Anderson, Richard White
Print Source: Xenon Pictures


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