The Harder They Come Film

Perry Henzel | Jamaica 1972 | 1h43m | English (Jamaican dialect) | 15


Ivanhoe Martin (Jimmy Cliff) leaves his rural village for Kingston looking for work. After some initial struggles, he lands a recording contract as a reggae singer. He records his first song, "The Harder They Come," but after a bitter dispute with exploitative music producer Hilton (Bob Charlton), he is forced to resort to petty crime in order to survive. He deals marijuana, kills some abusive cops and becomes a folk hero. Meanwhile, his record is topping the charts.

Jamaica's first locally produced film, with its unflinching look at Caribbean postcolonial society, has been described as "one of the most important films from the Caribbean". Its iconic soundtrack (featuring music by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, The Slickers and Toots and the Maytals) was instrumental in the spread of reggae music worldwide.  

The evening will kick off at 7pm sharp with a couple of short films marking the contribution of the Windrush generation to Britain. The screening of The Harder They Come will be followed by a live performance from Jamaican reggae artiste Claudius England. Unique fashion, home accessories, books and authentic Jamaican food (including vegetarian) on sale plus a full bar.  

This event was curated by Lisa Williams and is held in partnership with the Edinburgh Caribbean Association.


Past Showings

Edinburgh / Fri 2 Nov 2018 / 7pm
£10, £8 conc. / Pleasance Cabaret Bar / Book Now