Warning: This article contains spoilers for the ending scene of Netflix’s The Harder They Fall. If you haven’t watched the movie, check out these details about the movie’s origins and the real people who inspired the characters, then come back after watching.
James Samuel’s “The Harder They Fall” ends with a twist.
After years of hunting Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) and his gang fight Buck, leaving members of both sides dead.
Finally, confronted with the man who killed his parents, Love is confronted with a truth for which he is not ready: two are carved from the same fabric, both sons of a man who was himself cruel and vindictive.
“It was so tearful and exciting,” said Samuel, whose own father passed away when he was young. “In Rufus Buck’s mansion, a photograph of a black man hangs on the wall next to the stairs. And when Rufus Buck talks to Nat Love, this photo gets between them at times. This is my father’s painting. So, while they were talking about their father, all of us who went through this scene, and the entire film crew, looking at her on the monitors, then burst into tears. It was a really tough scene to shoot. “
This twist highlights the film’s central theme about the cycle of violence and its particular impact on the black community. “There is nothing on this path but death,” Samuel said. “Cherokee Bill has been telling everyone about this from the very beginning of the film.
“I wanted to tell a story in which the antagonist and the main character are essentially the same person doing the same thing. This is an endless loop of violence that we are involved in, and I did not want to preach, but to shed light on what is happening all too often in our community. “
Samuel wanted to go deeper than just the convention of a hero defeating a villain – an instinct similar to the actions of Elba and the Majors in the final confrontation.
“In order for me to comment on my experience and the story I wanted to tell, it had to end with a question and answer,” added Samuel. “Is the devil dead?” ‘I do not know.’ Because you become the one you kill. Nat Love does not hear the word “Buck” in his last name. And then what to do? This man killed [Nat’s] parents – someone needs to be shut up. This was the only way it could end for me. “