Good Hair

October 21, 20108:30pm

Chris Rock has two daughters. Horrified when one asks Daddy, why don’t I have good hair, he sets out to discover the meaning of good hair to black American women. In this award-winning documentary Rock visits the Bronner Brothers Annual Hair Contest in Atlanta, flies to Hollywood and India to find out about the financial costs and potential health risks that women face to achieve good hair by using a range of products from hair relaxants to imported weaves. But why is long relaxed hair a beauty norm for many black American women?

Rock doesn’t quite answer that question or his daughters, nor is there a serious look at the 9 billion trade in the States with all its inequalities. What we do get is a very funny film that points out the dangers and absurdities of the hair processes, the salons and the professionals involved. Commentary from the likes of Maya Angelou and Al Sharpton give us perspective and prime us to think about it ourselves. This might be seen as a documentary in the style of Michael Moore, a sort of docu-polemic, yet Rock doesn’t seem angry, simply amused and bewildered while always highly entertaining

Rock is a great interviewer: droll, probing, nevercondescending and, above all, funny. It is a film to be compared with the likable British movie on the same subject Afro-Saxons, by Mark Currie and Rachel Wang. Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off. Rotten Tomatoes film critic.

Good Hair is cause for hope that Rock continues to make documentaries. His style is lively, smooth and up-to-date, like the most coveted do. Claudia Puig, USA Today.

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Film Information
Release year: 2009
Running time:   95 mins
Directed by: Jeff Stilson
Language: English
Country: USA
Classification: 12A
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Chris Rock,
Maya Angelou,
Al Sharpton

Black Reel Awards Best Documentary,
Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize

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