November 19, 2014
Studio: Cinema Tropical, FIGA Films
Director: Mariana Rondón
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriter: Mariana Rondón
Starring: Beto Benites, Samuel Lange Zambrano, Samantha Castillo
A touching and humorous coming-of-gender story, "Bad Hair" chronicles the life of nine-year-old Junior, living in a bustling Caracas tenement with his widowed mother. Junior fears he has pelo malo – bad hair. For his school photo, he wants to iron his stubbornly curly mane straight to resemble one of his pop star idols. His mother, unemployed and frazzled from the pressures of raising two children in an unforgiving city, has serious misgivings; she suspects her son is gay. Grandma is more accepting, teaching Junior to dance to one of her favorite ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Writer-director Mariana Rondón grounds her film in the cultural realities of working-class Venezuela – and, by dint of two remarkable performances, finds warmth and humor between mother and son, even as the uncertainties of pre-adolescence threaten to pull them apart.