Saturday 12 September:
Pelo Malo (Bad Hair)
Mariana Rondón, Venezuela 2013
Spanish with English subtitles, 93′
Nine-year-old Junior has one true desire: to feature in the school photo with a headful of long, sleek hair. His full crop of curls, however, is a major drawback. Although his mother loathes his primping in front of the mirror, luckily Junior can always count on his grandmother. A touching coming-of-age drama from Venezuela with an earthy, rough edge, yet convincingly sincere.
Although Junior doesn’t have a clue what ‘homosexual’ means, his mother is deeply worried about his sexual orientation. As if she didn’t have enough to worry about: her husband is dead, she has lost her job and she is having the roughest time simply surviving in a poor Caracas suburb. Luckily Junior’s grandmother is aware of his interest in music, dancing and looks. Although you perhaps could consider her motives to be a bit dubious.
Touching feel-good movie
The battle Junior engages in with his full head of curly hair may appear to be a simple feel-good device, but the movie also manages to show as well that growing up among huge, crumbling apartment blocks is no real picnic. The surreal environment is captured with vivid, engaging and excellent camera work. The South American sun glows from the screen and the catchy theme song Mi Limón, mi limonero Pelo Malo is the icing on the cake of this playful and touching movie.
Venezuelan movies are nearly never screened in the Netherlands. Pelo Malo is Zienemaan & Sterren’s winning attempt to correct matters and show what wonderful things Venezuelan filmmakers are capable of. The movie manages to subtly present a range of social issues: the obsession with ideal beauty, conservative values related to sexuality and sexual orientation, and what it means to grow up in an underprivileged neighbourhood.
Saturday 12 September
Grounds open: 5 PM
Screening: 9 PM
tickets €6 (online) €8 (door), €15 (weekend pass) / free for everyone with a natural afro! More info below.