Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #36: Good Hair (2009)

Chris Rock's documentary on what exactly "good hair" means to African-Americans sheds light on the incredible amount of effort, time and money put into creating a certain self-image. I never knew a weave cost upwards of $1000, or that many put dangerous chemicals into their hair to straighten it. It all began when Rock's young daughter asked her dad why she didn't have "good hair" - a question that made him wonder what that meant, and why such lengths are gone to achieve a particular image.

From the salons of Harlem to the temples of India, Rock travels far and wide to find answers and makes the purpose of his journey to inform the world of his discoveries. It's this element - the fact that Rock is discovering these details and not just expounding them - that makes the documentary so interesting. It feels like an adventure on a subject I never even thought to explore. I must admit I was shocked at his findings, and love the overall message he wishes to send: what matters is what's in the head, not on it.

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