JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

copyright 2011, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media
Jump Cut
, No. 53, summer 2011

A question of audience:
revisiting Perry Henzell’s The Harder They Come

by Ulrick Casimir

Released in Jamaican theaters in 1972, just one decade after the island gained full independence within the British Commonwealth, The Harder They Come is a low-budget, locally-cast film based loosely on the life of Ivanhoe “Rhygin” Martin, a 1950s-era Jamaican gunman turned folk hero. Directed, produced, and co-written by Jamaican native Perry Henzell, the movie stars reggae icon Jimmy Cliff, is set mostly in the ghettoes and slums of Jamaica, and was the first chance for black Jamaicans to see characters like themselves on film in central or starring roles. U.S. critics commonly attribute the film’s international success to the combination of a storyline whose main theme is rebellion and a soundtrack that provided mainstream United States with its first taste of reggae, the musical descendant of ska and rocksteady, respectively.[1][open endnotes in new window] Michael Thelwell’s well-received novelization of the film, which was originally published in 1980, as well as the successful stage musical adaptation, which Henzell wrote and which debuted at London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2006 before traveling to North America in 2009, attest to The Harder They Come’s continuing influence and popularity.

Jamaica is the third largest island in a dappled, polyphonic region. Yet for a host of reasons (which include the island’s presentation of itself to the outside world, particularly foreign investors[2]), Jamaica continues to serve in the U.S. and British popular imagination as a synecdoche for the entire English-speaking Caribbean. Together with the film’s lasting status as cultural touchstone for an entire generation, this suggests that nearly forty years after its original, domestic release, The Harder They Come remains an avenue into the complicated and sometimes convoluted relationship between Caribbean cultural products and the foreign reception and use of them.

In this essay, I argue that The Harder They Come is a complex, ambivalent text that deserves (yet rarely receives) what Edward Saïd once termed a contrapuntal reading.[3] Such a reading would begin with the notion that this “uniquely Jamaican” film from 1972 may in fact be a colonial, rather than a postcolonial, text. The long-standing, well-documented, dialectical and recursive phenomenon of Anglophone Caribbean artists attaining success at home by first achieving renown abroad[4] suggests that The Harder They Come quite possibly owes much of its stateside and lasting domestic success to its strategy of holding carefully selected parts of the interior of Jamaica — effects but not their causes, the debilitating poverty of ordinary black Jamaicans but not the reasons founding that poverty — up for cinematic display. While the film permitted a “positive” viewing experience for its black Jamaican audience, it also allowed for a “positive” viewing experience for its predominantly white American and British audience by literally omitting them from the text and obscuring the roles of race, international relations, and foreign economic policy in determining Jamaica’s modern history. While certain production-level decisions and aesthetic elements of the film permitted its poor, black Jamaican audience negotiated readings of the text, aspects of the film’s formal approach read contrapuntally, in conjunction with the exclusion of whites from the film’s diegesis, reveal how The Harder They Come also promoted dominant readings by audiences outside Jamaica, particularly mostly white audiences in Britain and the U.S. The film’s gaze, in other words, though seemingly Jamaican, only appears to originate solely from a position within its subject matter.

The film’s dependence upon reggae is one of a number of thematic elements indicating a deliberate attempt at a uniquely Jamaican representation of Jamaica. Early in the introduction of Cut ‘N’ Mix, Dick Hebdige uses the term “two Jamaicas” to illustrate the wide gap that has long existed between the racial and socioeconomic realities of the island and the way that Jamaica is often perceived by those beyond its shores, in particular people in Great Britain and the United States.[5] For Hebdige (and others), reggae, which has morphed over time into a blanket term for all of Jamaican popular music,[6] has helped make that gap clear, publicizing the struggles of ordinary, black Jamaicans through lyrical explorations of “poverty and inequality and black identity” that are couched in “highly danceable rhythms”(22). The film’s emphasis on rebellion (which is both understandable and revealing, given Jamaica’s history of rebellion and resistance, in particular to black slavery) is also evident in the film’s soundtrack: Reggae itself is shot through with rebellion, or resistance, and here I invoke “resistance” specifically and deliberately according to Selwyn Cudjoe’s use and explication of the term in his Resistance and Caribbean Literature. Leonard Barrett, in The Rastafarians: The Dreadlocks of Jamaica, defines reggae as “a cultic expression that is both entertaining, revolutionary, and filled with Rastafarian symbolism”(x); reggae actually began as the music of Jamaicans who “rejected most of what is considered Jamaican, even to the point of spurning Jamaican nationality”(xiii).

Thus reggae itself is an ironic form of cultural resistance, and the musical form owes much of its international popularity to a film that follows a character whose actions occasionally qualify as socioeconomic resistance and always as political resistance. If as Cudjoe (and others) argue resistance is central to the historical and cultural development of the Caribbean as a region (and, by extension, Jamaica as a country), then the placement and expression of this type of story within and through this particular musical context, understood in conjunction with the decision to set the film in Jamaica and cast local people and almost no professional actors, would seem to intimate an effort at a uniquely Caribbean motion picture, while reinforcing the notion that resistance itself is perhaps the primary indicator of the uniquely Caribbean. Yet while trafficking in images and sounds of “Jamaica” that, through the film’s success, came to comprise or modulate a common perception of the country (and, by extension, the region), The Harder They Come lays flat beneath the pressure of the essentialism Stephen Slemon,[7] Jenny Sharpe,[8] and others have often warned is the dead end of the false binary basic to the notion of “resistance” as the most prominent cultural marker of a colonized people.

Henzell as a Jamaican was quite aware that the lives of ordinary, poor, black Jamaicans had yet to be made central onscreen. In the director’s commentary track of the 2000 Criterion DVD edition of The Harder They Come, Henzell describes in vivid terms the release and delight he witnessed the night of the film’s domestic premiere, at Jamaica’s overcrowded Carib Theater. Clearly the filmmaker understood that his “home” audience yearned to see themselves at the center of a major motion picture. My claim that the film’s gaze only appears to originate solely from a position within its subject matter is not meant to slight Henzell’s ability as a Jamaican filmmaker to provide passages through which ordinary black Jamaicans could identify with the events and characters displayed and developed onscreen. Setting aside Henzell’s nationality as well as his familiarity with the film’s subject matter, it becomes problematic to read the decision to emphasize the lives and bodies of black Jamaicans as chiefly responsible for the omission of whites from the “uniquely Jamaican” diegesis of The Harder They Come. It is also very difficult in this film to interpret that omission separately from the presence of artifacts of the Metropol, which suggest dominance without assigning it, and those disruptive formal elements that in this film tend to make objects of its subject matter.

The role of form in the construction of film narrative is the basis of David Bordwell’s constructivist account of film viewing, outlined in his Narration in the Fiction Film. While many film scholars have offered often radically different (yet equally valid approaches) to formal analysis,[9] Bordwell’s approach to narrative in film is pertinent here because it is geared toward producing close readings based primarily upon the interaction of formal elements to produce meaning. What follows are short, Bordwellian readings of two sequences from The Harder They Come that are meant to help separate those formal elements that work solely to construct the film’s narrative from those that more clearly indicate the racial messaging implicit in the film’s form. Both sequences indicate that the gaze of the film clearly originates without, rather than within, its subject matter. But while the first sequence demonstrates how that orientation often serves to draw and establish racial and ethnic distinction, the second demonstrates that an external orientation does not, by definition or necessity, lead to that kind of differentiation.

The first sequence (sequence A) starts immediately after the film’s opening sequence, in which Ivan takes a bus from the country to Kingston. Here, Ivan arrives in Kingston and immediately meets/is quickly the victim of a young, male thief, who steals everything that Ivan brought with him from the country. The sequence features four characters: Ivan, the young male thief, a man in a gray cap and a black-and-white shirt, and an old, black, half-toothless man. Of the four characters, only two, Ivan and the thief, have speaking parts. More importantly, of the two “speechless” characters, note that only one, the man in the gray cap, is anchored in any way, shape, or form to the events that take place in the clip. Sequence A ends just as Ivan crosses the busy street in pursuit of the thief who has just stolen his possessions.

Sequence A opens with a partial shot of the front of a bus painted with red and green stripes. Overburdened with bags and packages, wearing clothing that immediately codes him as being from the country, Ivan walks around the front of the bus and the camera pans with him, past the figures of several male bystanders who stand in the foreground [figure 1].

Several shots later we are introduced to the man in the gray cap, who in a medium, shallow shot stands before a set of vertical steel bars and a single row of clipped hedges. The shots preceding this one combine with this figure’s sightline to indicate that he is watching Ivan’s conversation with the young male thief from across the busy street. Further evidence for this occurs when the man with the gray cap reaches up with a level palm and shades his eyes against the sun [figure 2].

Later, after a few animated exchanges between Ivan and the young thief (in which Ivan is further coded as “country”), the thief looks off to the right of the frame, yells, waves an arm … and we cut to a shot in which the camera’s position is to the left and behind the thief, which allows us to look across the street that he is facing. The camera then pans quickly to the left and reveals that he is waving to the man in the gray cap, who then raises his arms in a gesture indicating that he has no idea what this young man wants with him [figure 3].

We cut again, this time to a shallow close up [figure 4] of the young man’s profile, during which the thief intimates to Ivan that the man in the gray cap owes him money.

Two edits later, we return to the continuation of the shot in figure 3; the man in the gray cap continues to gesture that he cannot hear anything above the noise of the traffic. We then cut to a shot of Ivan as he looks back from the man in the cap to the thief [figure 5]. Note that at this point, the man in the cap, despite the fact that he does not speak, is now undeniably part of the diegesis.

We then immediately cut to the continuation of the shot in figure 4, as the thief motions at Ivan to cross the street and retrieve money from the man in the gray cap [figure 6].

Cut again, this time to the continuation of the first shot in figure 5, as Ivan walks away from the camera and heads across the street. Just as Ivan nears the other side of the street, the thief pushes his cart out past the left side of the frame. A group of uniformed schoolchildren cross the frame from left to right as the camera zooms slightly and tightens on Ivan and the man in the cap, and Ivan explains that he has come over to retrieve the young man’s money [figure 7].

The shot continues as the man in the cap waves his arms suggesting he has no idea what is going on; his mouth moves as if he is saying something, but he remains without a voice, as what he says is either unrecorded or recorded too low to be intelligible. A bus (this one with white and green horizontal stripes) zooms between the subjects and the camera. We then cut to a close up of Ivan and the man with the cap from roughly the same angle as but a closer position than the shot in figure 7, as Ivan implores the man in the cap to hand over the money [figure 8].

Six shots later, after Ivan notices that the thief has left and begins yelling and chasing after him, occurs a close up [figure 9], the first shot of the old, black, half-toothless man. In this shot, he is apparently mouthing words to someone — or something — off to the left of the frame as Ivan speaks off-screen. What this man says is either unrecorded or recorded too low to be intelligible, making him the second character in this sequence who (quite literally) speaks without the benefit of a voice. In fact, when his mouth moves, it is Ivan’s exhortation for the return of his material possessions that we hear. Furthermore, the old man’s sightline is absolutely without reference; none of the shots that proceed or follow this one work to establish this character’s location or purpose in the scene. That his voice is unheard and his sightline is so completely without anchor is striking, as it makes this onscreen figure appear to be engaged with both everything and nothing in particular.

Three shots later, we see the same old, black, half-toothless man first revealed in the shot in figure 9; here, in figure 10, he moves left to right across the frame and again mouths something that we cannot hear. His sightline is once again left completely without anchor. A car horn sounds as the old man’s face jerks across the frame, making this the second time that any sound he makes gets covered up by someone or something off-screen.

The next shot [figure 11a] shows Ivan jumping back to avoid traffic as he tries to cross the street to chase the thief who has run off with his belongings. We then cut to a very brief close up [figure 11b)] of the old, half-toothless man; this time he mouths something to someone (or something) at the right of the frame … but he is once again without a voice, and his sightline remains without anchor, as the final two shots of the sequence show Ivan crossing the street.

Most of the formal elements that call attention to themselves in this sequence (like the complex sightline matching that lasts much of the sequence) would seem most immediately attributable to Kingston’s chaos and Ivan’s naïveté and bewilderment. But this explanation becomes problematic beginning with the shot in figure 9, which features an unidentified character whose appearance could be argued as essentially incidental were it not for his reappearance in the shots in figures 10 and 11b. These last two shots call attention to this character in a specific fashion, suggesting by their very inclusion — and the fact that they show the man speaking to someone we do not see, and looking at someone or something that we cannot identify — that he either will reappear later or currently figures into the narrative or theme of either the sequence or the entire film. Neither, however, is the case. Considered within the context of the sequence or the entire film, this man’s appearance in these three shots is baseline for display. He is in this sequence, in other words, simply to be looked at and nothing else. Furthermore, and perhaps most strangely, the formal “grammar” of this sequence makes it clear that this man who is here to be looked at is not here to be observed by those around him; it is clear by the end of the sequence that this old, black, toothless man, who is notably without agency, who while in the film is so vividly disconnected from the world of film, is included solely for the benefit of observers located outside of the diegesis. In this instance, The Harder They Come most clearly succeeds in making an object or “passive backdrop” (Callenbach 59) of its subject matter, which is to say that here the film engages in and affirms the very process that it tries so desperately to avoid.

The second sequence (sequence B), which is in a way a counterpoint to the first, encompasses one middling length take and begins shortly after Ivan avoids capture at the motel by gunning down three police officers. As Ivan leaves the motel in that scene, he encounters a drunk on his way home. The drunk verbally expresses surprise at seeing Ivan running from the motel with a gun and no pants (so even before sequence B, the film provides the drunk with a voice). Two scenes later, we return for the second and last time to the drunk, who, in sequence B, is now home and in his underwear at the bottom of what is revealed to be a staircase.

We cut to close up [figure 12] of the drunk wearing a hat and no shirt, his head propped on one arm. The drunk appears weary and dejected. He moves his mouth occasionally but says nothing audible; the impression is of a man too inebriated to say anything and too familiar with the words he hears to do aught but mock the abuse. A woman’s voice opens the sequence and is the only audible, non-ambient sound it features; she is never onscreen, but the first line she speaks, along with the camera’s slow zoom out to reveal that the man sits at the bottom of a staircase, anchors her position as being somewhere upstairs.

Woman: What you doing down there so long, you thinking? You mean you can’t think of a story to fool me with tonight? You go and make up your story, man.

The man nods slowly, as if in silent agreement with the woman upstairs.

Woman: What a day when I catch you out and no story to help you.

As the man rises, the camera zooms out and shows he is sitting at the bottom of a staircase. He turns away from us, and as the woman delivers the following line, he walks upstairs.

Woman: That is the day I’m waiting for.

At first glance, this single shot lasting roughly forty-five seconds might seems to support the claim at the end of my analysis of sequence A. Sequence B shows a man in a hat and situation closely matching those of cartoonist Reg Smythe’s “lovable” lush Andy Capp; this is a drunk coming home to a wife who has long since tired of him returning to her in such a state. The drunk’s function within the film’s narrative is similar to the function of that of the old, toothless man in sequence A: Both men are minor characters who appear more than once, a pattern suggesting to the viewer that they ought to be considered more than “passive backdrop.” But sequence B features a scene that, though seemingly outside the narrative and themes of the film as a whole, works without objectifying the character onscreen because it presents a situation that does not necessarily depend upon cultural difference for its import; in fact, the scene’s import relies upon the trans-cultural phenomenon of men returning home drunk to wives who are disgusted with their behavior. In other words, sequence B depends upon the viewer identifying in some way with the character or situation onscreen, while sequence A presents little if anything at all that would catalyze or foster audience identification with the old, black, half-toothless man onscreen. So although both scenes feature extra-narrative characters who function primarily as artifacts, the man in Sequence B is there to remind us all of what we are, while the man in Sequence A is there to remind some of us precisely of what we are not.

Although The Harder They Come has historically garnered almost unanimous praise, shades of my concern began appearing in newspapers, magazines, and journals soon after the film’s international debut. The July 14th, 1974 edition of The New York Times includes Vincent Canby’s “Those Films Which Refuse to Fade Away,” a survey of a few films whose cult followings had led to prolonged or second or third runs at theaters, despite those films sometimes flopping badly during an initial run. This appears near the end of Canby’s positive recapitulation of Henzell’s feature:

"Although The Harder They Come takes place almost entirely in the Jamaican’s Jamaica (there is only one short scene involving a resort hotel), and although it is very careful not to portray whites as the oppressors (we see only blacks ripping off blacks), it is a more revolutionary black film than any number of U.S. efforts, including Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song." (Canby 235)

Published in a 1975 edition of Jump Cut, Julianne Burton’s “The Harder They Come: Cultural Colonialism and the American Dream” provides a largely positive overview of the film, avowing that its criticism of postcolonial Jamaica lies in its depiction of “Ivan’s separation from traditional life” and his community, as well as the role of U.S. and European artifacts in his progression toward violence and materialism (5). Yet Burton is also extremely careful to point out that her reading of the film is predicated upon Henzell’s ability, as a white filmmaker, to speak or stand in for his subject matter:

"The history of the filming, the intentions and background of the filmmakers, the sources of financial backing, the social contexts within which the film has been viewed and the audience response to it are all questions directly related to my interpretation of the film. Such information is, however, extremely difficult to find and may, in the short run, tend to substantiate a much more pessimistic and negative view of the film’s content. Perry Henzell is after all a son of Jamaica’s white ruling class, though he perceives himself as much more closely tied to the marginal milieu portrayed in the film." (7)

Published two years earlier, Ernest Callenbach’s brief review of the film in the “Short Notice” section of Film Quarterly begins with an examination of how the motion picture brings to the forefront “the black Caribbean, which has previously only figured as a passive backdrop in James Bond pictures.” Callenbach then matches attendant aspects of The Harder They Come to a summary of the “post”-colonial state of the region, a summary organized around the (problematic) claim that Jamaica, “being a large island and more directly in touch with American black culture,” can serve as a model for the effects upon the region of both the replacement of one monoculture (sugar) with another (tourism) as well as the electronic importation (radio, television, etc.) of U.S. culture — especially the elements of U.S. culture most closely representative of the tenets of capitalism. This passage appears near the end of the review:

“Because [The Harder They Come’s] style is ordinary opaque naturalism [...] the film can hide behind its surface realness: the shanty towns, the lovely West Indian dialect [....] But it thus conceals the deeper realities of Jamaican life: economic control by foreign white corporations and managers, a classically neo-colonial pattern of extractive industries. Perhaps as a consequence, it speaks dramatically in terms that are fatalistic, romantic, and defeatist.” (Callenbach 60)

One very valid critique of Callenbach’s assessment is that it offers no specific support for this assertion. But this may be due to that support being not terribly difficult for the viewer to find. The Harder They Come features not a single white major or minor character; the only whites in its diegesis proper are a handful of tourists, who together populate conspicuously few frames. The whites who last longest onscreen are notably (or ironically) filtered through the medium of film itself — namely, the actors in Django, the “Spaghetti Western” playing in the theater Ivan visits shortly after arriving in Kingston. Even more striking: Despite the then-recent independence of Jamaica and the effects of a renewed emphasis on tourism, “which brings in its train the identical social dislocations of the old plantation system”(Callenbach, 59), not one conversation in this film — and for all its action, this is a dialogue-rich film — is specifically of or directly concerns whites. One way to process this is to think of it as an interesting twist on James Snead’s influential concept of exclusionary emulation, which cites “omission” as one method through which racial and ethnic assumptions function in film. But where Snead’s deconstruction of the star text of Shirley Temple points to the omission of blacks in her films as partial evidence of racial and ethnic politics (“Shirley Temple”), the analysis in this essay suggests that the deliberate omission of whites from The Harder They Come serves an analogous function.

Visually, aurally, and ideologically: Whites but not white artifacts, whiteness but not its signs and symbols, are left out of the “uniquely Jamaican” diegesis of The Harder They Come. This despite the region’s rich history of colonial occupation, economic domination, and cultural imperialism, each of which are a function of colonial domination, each of which are fundamental to the history of Jamaica, and each of which, from the “colonial blitz” of the 18th and 19th centuries on through the long-lasting hegemony of Hollywood, have been or continue to be attenuated by the politics of race. In fact, the most significant references in The Harder They Come to race or colorist attitudes come through two characters: the light-skinned woman who shoos Ivan from her upscale house while he is wandering Kingston, penniless and hungry; and Hilton, the record producer of light complexion who in the end profits the most from Ivan’s crime spree. But both are, again, effects and not causes; both suggest that skin color is a factor in Ivan’s social mobility, but neither indicates how skin color came to be such a determining factor. According to The Harder They Come, whiteness has not and does not attenuate power and capital in Jamaican society, which is to say that it cannot in any way be held culpable for the violence and penury represented onscreen. Such is the supportive material the film freely provides for the reviewer’s argument, as well as for my own.

Perhaps the twentieth time I screened The Harder They Come, I did so with my mother, who was twenty and teaching grammar school in Dominica when the film was first released in the Caribbean. I watched her watch the film and sing it from memory, and I thought of how it must have felt back then, seeing this movie from “home” at “home,” in a dark and crowded theater. What Henzell did was extraordinary, and The Harder They Come is still the defining film of the Caribbean because of him. But the years since 1972 have produced more ways of understanding that what counts as “romantic” in the film’s content sometimes translates to “voyeuristic” and “objectifying” in its formal aspects. Today, The Harder They Come remains instructive because it provides a glimpse of the Caribbean beyond the boundaries of its resorts. But it is a glimpse whose incompleteness is just as instructive, because it illustrates the difficulties filmmakers face when their subject matter is another race. And for those two lessons, we should continue to thank Perry Henzell, now posthumously, for his crowning achievement.

Notes

1. In “Sex, Race Commodity and Film Fetishism in The Harder They Come,” Kenneth Harris states that “the film was in fact produced for the purpose of selling records”(211).

2. See Peter D. Fraser and Paul Hackett’s Caribbean Economic Handbook for an overview of how various governments within the Caribbean attempt to include the region in the “push” for globalization by essentially selling the islands (i.e., their environment, people, and culture) to corporations looking to globalize. For a more localized and “concrete” example, see Victoria Marshall’s “Filmmaking in Jamaica ‘Likkle but Tallawah,’” which includes an assessment of how the country’s attempts to draw foreign investors comes into conflict with attempts to develop and foster a domestic film industry.

3. A contrapuntal reading of The Harder They Come would examine the film as a product of social and cultural reality and question how the film might indeed participate in the colonial process, even without realizing that it does.

4. Central as it is to the study of Caribbean cultural products, this rangy, knotty problem has long been explored and in a number of ways. One powerful example is Mervyn Morris’s 1967 article “Some West Indian Problems of Audience.” There Morris quickly finds fault with both the Caribbean reading audience (in particular members of the region’s middle class), which Morris argues tends to be unsupportive of regional literary efforts, and those authors who choose to become exiles and who, even when they continue to write about the Caribbean, often write with a non-Caribbean audience in mind. More recent (and nuanced) analyses include selections from editor Humphrey A. Regis’s anthology Culture and Mass Communication in the Caribbean: D. Elliott Parris’s “The Reexportation of the Caribbean Literary Artist” and Bouziane Zaid’s “Bakhtin’s Dialogic Model and Popular Music: Bob Marley and the Wailers as a Case Study” explore the problem as it pertains to Anglophone Caribbean literature and reggae music, respectively.

5. Labeling Jamaica’s perception of itself (as opposed to the “Jamaica of the travel brochures”) as the “other Jamaica,” Hebdige avers that “anyone who has listened to the lyrics of songs recorded by Jamaican reggae artists like Jimmy Cliff or Bob Marley will already be familiar with this other Jamaica”(21).

6. In Cut ‘N’ Mix, Hebdige assesses the different types of Jamaican popular music, of which “reggae” is but one: “[…] ‘reggae’ referred to a particular phase in Jamaican pop music. There were many other phases, other slightly different rhythms before reggae, namely ska and rocksteady. And in recent years there have been a number of shifts--a number of new rhythms. All of these have been given names [...] by those closest to the Jamaican sound. But ‘reggae’ is the word that’s stuck as far as the wider public is concerned. It has come to stand for virtually all forms of popular music in Jamaica”(45).

7. In “Unsettling the Empire: Resistance Theory for the Second World.”

8. In “Figures of Colonial Resistance.”

9. While Bordwell is well known for developing this approach, clear echoes of it occur in the work of others. One example is cognitive theorist James Peterson’s Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order, in which Peterson relies upon heuristics to account for strategies viewers use while “making sense” of U.S. avant-garde cinema.

Works cited

Barrett, Leonard E. The Rastafarians: The Dreadlocks of Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica: Sangster’s Book Stores, 1977.

Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

Burton, Julianne. “The Harder They Come: Cultural Colonialism and the American Dream.” Jump Cut 6 (1975): 5-7.

Callenbach, Ernest. “The Harder They Come.” Film Quarterly 27:2 (1973-1974): 59-60.

Camby, Vincent. “Those Films Which Refuse to Fade Away.” Movie Review. The New York Times July 14th 1974, sec. 1: 11.

Cudjoe, Selwyn Reginald. Resistance and Caribbean Literature. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1980.

Fraser, Peter D., and Paul Hackett. Caribbean Economic Handbook. 1st ed. London: Euromonitor Publications, 1985.

Harris, Kenneth. “Sex, Race Commodity and Film Fetishism in The Harder They Come.” Ex-Isles: Essays on Caribbean Cinema. Ed. Cham, Mbye B. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1992. 211-19.

Hebdige, Dick. Cut ‘N’ Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music. London: Routledge, 1997.

Marshall, Victoria M. “Filmmaking in Jamaica ‘Likkle but Tallawah’.” Ex-Isles: Essays on Caribbean Cinema. Ed. Cham, Mbye B. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1992. 98-105.

Morris, Mervyn. “Some West Indian Problems of Audience.” English 16 94 (1967): 127-31.

Parris, D. Elliott. “The Reexportation of the Caribbean Literary Artist.” Culture and Mass Communication in the Caribbean: Domination, Dialogue, Dispersion. Ed. Regis, Humphrey A. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. 95-119.

Peterson, James. Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order: Understanding the American Avant-Garde Cinema. Contemporary Film and Television Series. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1994.

Saïd, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Sharpe, Jenny. “Figures of Colonial Resistance.” Modern Fiction Studies 35.1 (Spring 1989): 137-155.

Slemon, Stephen. “Unsettling the Empire: Resistance Theory for the Second World.” World Literature Written in English 30.2 (Fall 1990): 30-41.

Snead, James A. “Shirley Temple.” White Screens, Black Images : Hollywood from the Dark Side. Ed. MacCabe, Colin and Cornel West. New York: Routledge, 1994. 47-66.

The Harder They Come. 1972. DVD. Criterion, 2000. Dir. Perry Henzell.

Zaid, Bouziane. “Bakhtin’s Dialogic Model and Popular Music: Bob Marley and the Wailers as a Case Study.” Culture and Mass Communication in the Caribbean: Domination, Dialogue, Dispersion. Ed. Regis, Humphrey A. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001. 139-48.


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