Jeymes Samuel, a British singer/songwriter known as The Bullitts and the film’s director/co-writer, provides commentary in a live performance video explaining how five songs from the film came together. Four of those tracks are featured on The Harder They Fall (The Motion Picture Soundtrack), which peaked at No. 11 on Billboard‘s Soundtracks chart last month — “No Turning Around” by Samuel, “Three and Thirty Years” by South African operatic soprano Pretty Yende, “Wednesday’s Child” by jazz and blues singer Alice Smith, and “Better Than Gold” by Jamaican reggae/dancehall artist Barrington Levy — and represent the range of the Black diaspora and experience.
“I’m really careful with The Harder They Fall to not address slavery and racism bang on. I just want to a make a movie about these people living by themselves and it just be a celebration of these people’s existence and our people’s existence, as opposed to living under the man,” Samuel clarifies in the video segment explaining the song “Jim Crow Count” before giving Zazie Beetz (who plays Stagecoach Mary in the movie) a countdown as she breaks out into a riveting performance of the march-like anthem. “But I do talk about it subtly within song and within melody.”
With “Wednesday’s Child,” Samuels explains how the song recalls the better days before slavery’s existence and how the blue lady dancing while Smith sings the song in the movie represents “the sea and the middle passage. Her dance signifies hope. Everything we experience as an oppressed people, we still find strength in our spirit to celebrate that hope,” he adds, with the video unveiling Smith’s somber, blue-tinted performance.
The Harder They Fall is one of the Netflix original movies that will be carefully dissected during Netflix Playlist, a virtual musical showcase that unpacks the music with the people who made it come to life.
Learn more about the music in The Harder They Fall below.