Director: Mariana Rondon
Venezuela, 2014, 99 mins.
Junior is a nine-year-old boy who has stubbornly curly hair or "bad hair." He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture so that he looks like a fashionable pop singer with long, ironed hair. This puts him at odds with his mother Marta, a young, unemployed widow. Junior, Marta, and his baby brother live in a large multi-family building. Overwhelmed by what it takes to survive in the chaotic city of Caracas, Marta finds it increasingly difficult to tolerate Junior's fixation with his looks. The more Junior tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more she rejects him. His paternal grandmother, a witness to this rejection, asks Marta to give her the boy so that he can look after her. Marta refuses and tries to correct her son's obsession by "setting an example," a cruel moment which was meant to be a lesson. Junior finds himself cornered, face to face with a painful decision.
7:30pm | ADV: $10, $7 mbrs. DOOR: $12, $9 mbrs.
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Despues De La Frontera/After the Border on view at the Creative Alliance August 22-September 26. To schedule a tour, email curator, Tanya Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org .
"Pelo Malo is a rare look into identity politics among Latin Americans, where racism is often a taboo topic" - Jasmine Garsd, NPR
In the skillful hands of Venezuelan director/writer Mariana Rondón, black hair is a window into Latin America’s soul. - Sandra Guzman, NBC
Castillo is wild-eyed and near feral as the flailing matriarch, and Lange gives a steely performance beyond his years as the determined Junior. The result is a strong, moving film from Venezuelan writer-director Mariana Rondón. – Katie Walsh, LA Times