Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the movie School Daze, Spike Lee staged a dance number in which two bands of African-American college students debated the merits of "Straight and Nappy" hair in song, and now comedian Chris Rock and filmmaker Jeff Stilson have extended the conversation to a full-length film in this witty documentary with serious undertones. Rock says he was inspired to make the film when his young daughter asked him, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" and he and Stilson examine black America's obsession with their hair as they visit the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show, an annual trade show for the African-American hair care industry which includes fierce competitions among stylists from around the country and demonstrations of new hair products and techniques. Along the way, Rock also talks to a number of African-American luminaries about their hair issues (including Maya Angelou, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Nia Long, Raven Symone, Ice-T, and Paul Mooney), researches the dangers of many common hair-straightening treatments, reveals the surprising expense of regular hair "relaxing" and weaves, and ponders what the pursuit of straight hair says about African-American cultural identity. Good Hair received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Black [race], hair, hair-care, race/ethnicity