Pelo Malo (Bad Hair)
Director: Mariana Rondon
Cast: Samuel Lange Zambrano, Samantha Castillo, Beto Benites
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Country of Origin: Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Germany 2013 93 mins.
Winner Golden Shell & Sebastian Award San Sebastian Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize -International Competition & Bronze Alexander Jury Award Thessaloniki Film Festival
Released by AXIOM FILMS
'An impressive, intelligent and powerful neorealist drama with stunning lead performances.'
It's a gem of a film shot in a documentary style with stunning naturalistic and honest performances from Samual Lange Zambrano as nine-year-old Junior and Samantha Castillo as his embittered recently widowed mother, Marta.
Wounded and hurt, Marta's life is focused on survival. Junior, marginalised by his intolerant mother who's convinced that he's gay and is preoccupied with his baby brother decides to straighten his stubbornly curly hair ('Bad Hair'). Encouraged by his paternal grandmother Carmen (Nelly Ramos) who only wants him out of convenience, he sets out to imitate the style of her favourite sixties crooner, Henry Stephen for his yearbook picture. All Junior wants is to straighten his hair for a picture he wants to give his mother, a picture that would show him as he wishes to be seen. He just wants his mother to love him. And in the background we're reminded of of the harsh reality of Hugo Chavez's socioeconomic experiment.
Impressive, intelligent, emotional and powerful, 'Pelo Malo' is captivating cinema with a stunning knock out final scene.