South Africans will get a chance to watch a uniquely South film that deals with the divisive topic of hair. Hair That Moves is a short film that deals with a young girl’s struggle to accept her hair. The protagonist, a 10-year-old black girl, attends a private school and dreams of having sleek, straight hair like the women she sees on TV.
She decides to get her hair relaxed in order to compete in her school’s singing competition – with disastrous results.
Hair, particularly black women’s hair, has been been thrust into the spotlight since the natural hair movement kicked off. The movement encourages women to embrace their afro-textured hair and pushes back against stereotypes that define their hair as messy, unprofessional and unkempt.
Hair That Moves, directed by Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatus, is particularly pertinent in the South African context, given the fact that some pupils are banned from wearing their hair in its natural form. In August last year, learners from the Pretoria High School for Girls staged a protest outside their school, claiming they were being discriminated against because they were not permitted to attend classes with their natural hair.
The movement itself has not been without controversy, with some people claiming that mixed-race women are co opting the movement and pushing out women with kinkier hair.
The movie is a celebration of a young girl coming into accepting her hair and consequently, herself.
You can catch Hair That Moves at the Bioscope Movie Theatre in Johannesburg on 17 August. Tickets cost R45.
Watch the video below: