Written by David Ugbabe
The London Film festival 2021 has opened with ‘The Harder They Come’ produced by rapper Jay-Z and starring Idris Elba and Regina King, and has opened the BFI London Film Festival.
Although last year’s edition was held online, due to the outbreak of covid-19. However, as the restrictions lessened the festival resumed with a full physical festival – with the opening night film claiming to ‘redefine’ the West with a black main cast.
The film was directed by London-based director, Jeymes Samuel, who also worked with Jay-Z on the soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” in 2013. The fictional story is based on real characters who existed or are existing.
Elba who describes himself as a lifelong friend of Samuel, described his character in the film, Rufus Buck, as a huge departure from his popular role as Detective John Luther and was happy to take part in it. Meanwhile, it was recently announced that Elba would reprise that role in an upcoming Netflix film.
Elba said “The Harder They Fall” is Samuel’s second feature film. Although the film was produced by Jay-Z, aka Shawn Carter, Samuel describes how he managed to charm Oscar-nominee Regina King to star in his film.
Stressing on the importance of strong female characters, like the one portrayed by King in the film, Samuel said, “Never in the history of mankind have women been subservient. But just like Hollywood, at that stage weren’t letting female directors direct major motion pictures, and then weren’t letting people of color direct. So otherwise, we wouldn’t have had such a skewered view,” Samuel said.
He added: “I just wanted to draw on the women. I know women like yourself, like, I don’t want to draw on women and their power. We are all women. I was raised by my mother, you know? And that’s why I’m hoping it comes through in the in the film.” The film’s main character, Nat Love, is played by ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Jonathan Majors, who’ll also star in Michael B. Jordan’s “Creed III.”
“The Harder They Fall” is released by Netflix on 3 November 2021.
The BFI London Film Festival runs until 17 October 2021.