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Good HairThe movie Good Hair opened in Portland last Friday and I went to see it this past weekend because I don’t know how long it will last since they are showing it in only two theaters.
Even when this movie is a documentary, at the same time is a comedy. I think Chris Rock wanted to present some facts about African American hair but he also wanted to do it in a way he is comfortable with, that’s it, comedy.
I don’t think he pretended to make a film about African hair history and the social, political and cultural aspects of it. So, maybe some people will be disappointed.
But the film is funny and shows the lengths people go to feel beautiful and accepted. In this case, the subjects are African American women but could be anyone.
Yes, he could have shown the hidden reasons these women do what they do to their heads, but I guess this wasn’t his idea.
Also he showed just one side of the story, women that choose to relax or use extensions, but not women who leave their hair in their natural texture, and there are many of those.
So, the result is that the people interviewed looked vain and superficial. Women who will do anything to themselves and their children to look more “European”.
With just a couple of exceptions, specially the woman suffering from alopecia, African American women don’t look good in the movie, I would even say that it is a bit sexist.
But if you just want to have a good time and learn just a little bit about African American hair, this movie is for you. The funniest part for me is the Hair Show in Atlanta, it reminded me a lot to the movie Blow Dry.
There is another documentary made in 2005 called My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage that apparently is more complete in its approach to African Hair. The director, Regina Kimbell, is now suing Chris Rock for stealing her idea because it seems she showed her film to him just before Rock “came up” with the idea of making a documentary about African hair. Oh, well…
Unfortunately My Nappy Roots is not as widely available as Good Hair, so I can’t comment more about this, or how good or bad it is, but you can go to its website or better yet, compare trailers side by side. Here is the one of Good Hair and below is the one belonging to My Nappy Roots
Looking at the trailers, the movies look painfully similar. No, I should say, that My Nappy Roots looks BETTER, but you can judge for yourselves: