Roots of Reggae presents: The Harder They Come

Last month I told you about our plans to base the next Roots of Reggae event around the screening of a Reggae film. I’m pleased to say we received a lot of interest in the idea, both online and when speaking to people when I’ve been out and about. I threw open the choice of film we should show and a clear favourite quickly emerged in the shape of 1972 Reggae classic, ‘The Harder They Come’.

Saturday 14th April – A date for your diary

Today , I am pleased to announce we will be screening ‘The Harder The Come’ on Saturday 14th April,  between 3 and 7 pm, Upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton. As well as  the chance to watch a bona fide Reggae classic projected onto a big screen, we will also be playing (and dancing to ) music from the golden age of Reggae . We hope that the film will rekindle people’s memories and we wish to encourage guests to share their stories about Reggae music and culture with others. And, following hot on the heels of Roots of Reggae’s involvement with Heritage of Ska, there may even be some very special guests in the audience …

As with our Roots of Reggae launch, we are again hosting the event in association with Age UK Lambeth. Our events aim to provide an inclusive space for people of all ages and backgrounds to socialise over some great music. We are also grateful to the Ritzy for their ongoing support for Roots of Reggae.

Support Roots of Reggae

To help with the costs of putting on the event we are asking that guests contribute £5 (£4 concessions) to watch ‘The Harder They come’. I will be setting up Facebook and Eventbrite pages to promote the event and hope to be able to offer a discount on advance tickets. Keep an eye out on @RootsofReggae and our Facebook page for more information.

Thanks for supporting Roots of Reggae. Let’s make next month’s event a great success. If you have any ideas for the event or would like to get involved with Roots of Reggae more generally, please drop me a line at:

What makes ‘The Harder They Come so special? 

The age-old story of country boy, urban corruption, and a bad end. The guy is Jimmy Cliff, the city is Kingston, the bad business is the reggae industry, and the crime is killing a cop who’s in on the ‘ganja’ trade. The film’s tone is righteously angry, but it doesn’t go for the easy targets: it views Cliff’s image of himself as a hero as ironically as it denounces police violence and missionary-style religion. Along the way, it offers a richly textured picture of Jamaican shanty-town life, composed with a terrific eye for detail. The action is as gutsy as the well-integrated score, which makes the movie’s Hollywood-style gloss a little anomalous, but the basic humour and toughness emerge unscathed.

Source: Time Out Film Guide

Here’s a vintage promo of the film:

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  1. […] 3pm over at the Ritzy, Roots of Reggae present classic film the Harder they Come, featuring legendary singer Jimmy Cliff. Blog contributor Francis Clarke also promises vintage […]

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