THE HARDER THEY FALL: DEATH, LOVE, GUNS AND REVENGE IN THE BLACK AMERICAN WEST

Image from netflix.com

If I ever get to be in a movie, I would like to be the villain and how I wish I had known when they were casting for The Harder They Fall because I definitely would have sent in a tape. But then again, I would have no chance against the stellar cast that brought the movie to life. Regina King with a slight Riley from the Boondocks accent was perfect as Trudy and was able to say what she truly wanted to say with her face. This was my first time seeing Jonathan Majors on screen and I must say he has gained a new fan. One thing I appreciate about watching movies as an adult is how I am able to look for clues in the actor’s face for their true emotions; it has brought a new meaning to movies for me. As kid, I would have enjoyed The Harder They Fall for the shootouts and the romance but as an adult, it is the whole story and the meaning of this movie for black film that makes me enjoy it. For all that was said about Rufus Buck, we did not get to see much of it from the time he was on screen, just a last act that finally wrapped up the story was where we got to see Rufus not as the villain he was supposed to be but as the human behind the bad guy. I wanted more. For all of my fantasies of wanting to go back to the past than the future if I were ever given a time machine, it sure was not fun time to be a woman, and watching Cuffee stand her ground as people try to walk over her was a delight. She was the one character that gets to do what she wanted to in the end (yay for women in the Black west). But it seems black film suffers from the same problem as the rest of Hollywood, the movie characters were named after real people and the casting of a light skinned woman as Mary Fields caused a stir in the community. Nothing against Zazie Beets, a wonderful actor whom I particularly love in Atlanta but that role deserved to go to someone who looked like Mary; Danielle Brooks comes to mind and might have been a suggestion on one of the twitter threads I saw on the issue. A YT video on the issue of how dark skinned male actors are more likely to make it in Hollywood than their lighter skinned compatriots and vice versa for the female actors explains this issue well and I encourage all to watch it. It is an inescapable fact that you cannot discuss Black America without White America but the use of White America in The Harder They Fall was simplistic at best but I could be wrong. For Black people, cinema for the majority of time has relegated us to the supportive sidekick or best friend or the good guy but Black people can be bad guys too and do not always like each other(insert Black people are not a monolith here). Something that people would understand if they truly saw as human beings, it is quite frustrating that in the 21st century, we still have to prove that we are human but here we are. Personally, I am more of a New England person or Atlanta if I have to stay in the South but the Black Midwest would not have been so bad.

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