in about 100 words or less
Jamaica 120m, Colour
Director: Perry Henzell; Cast: Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Janet Bartley, Carl Bradshaw, Ras Daniel Hartman, Basil Keane, Bob Charlton, Winston Stona
The Harder They Come is a gritty and poignant drama about a poor Jamaican man from the country who tries to make a living in Kingston, only to be beaten down at every turn. Coerced into selling the rights to song he’s recorded for only $20, Ivan’s dreams of becoming a recording star are dashed as he runs from crooked police and double-crossing dope dealers. Shot on location and filled with realistic performances, The Harder They Come served as a sociopolitical statement on 1970s Jamaica, and helped introduce reggae music to the world (Klaus Ming June 2015).