Hair-raising cultural row at Black cinema showcase

Filmmakers do not shy away from tackling culturally controversial subjects like African hair versus "good hair" at the 11th British Film Institute (BFI) International Film Festival - the UK's largest Black world cinema event, writes Maria Tadeo. 

The festival at the BFI venue on London's arty Southbank opened with the award-winning documentary Good Hair produced and narrated by US comedy star Chris Rock who attempts to answer his four-year-old daughter's dilemma: "How come I don't have good hair?"

By good hair she means long, straight and shiny hair as opposed to her natural curly African and apparently impossible to manage hair.

Rock embarks on a mission across hair salons all over America in an attempt to answer his daughter's question and find out why African-American women spend more than $9 billion a year on weaves, extensions and wigs chasing after "good hair".

A provocative documentary that will surely spark controversy with comments such as "It's (grooming) kinda like a torture session", "sex with a weave is a little awkward" or a scene where a women asks herself "so my nappy hair isn't worth anything?".

This celebration of Black cinema continues with titles such as Dennis Dortch's A Good Day to be Black and Sexy or Stascha Bader's study of Jamaican society and politics in Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae.




1 Response to "Hair-raising cultural row at Black cinema showcase"

contribs editor's picture

contribs editor

Wed, 11/11/2009 - 16:54
<p><strong>Nicole Valerie-Anne Sylvester<br></strong></p><p>1) To emulate the European women that are held up by society as the<br>pinnacle of beauty.<br><br>2) For social acceptance by their European counterparts... To "fit in".<br><br>3) For fashion purposes- keep up with Joneses.<br><br>4) To compete for the attention of Black men.<br><br>So many reasons, so little time! Sigh...</p>