Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 21 minutes
Studio: Maroon Work
In recent years, a couple of groundbreaking documentaries addressed some serious issues pertaining to African-American hair. The first, “Aron Ranen’s Black Hair,” chronicled the Korean takeover of the black haircare industry. The second, Chris Rock’s “Good Hair,” was an eye-opening expose about the dangers and costs associated with sisters’ straightening hair and purchasing wigs in capitulation to a European definition of beauty.
Now we have “Brazilian Wavy,” a wacky comedy which takes a lighter look at the same two themes. Directed by Kirk Henriquest the thought-provoking film packs a wealth of information before delivering an emotional punch, despite lasting a mere 21 minutes. Much like your typical TV sitcom, the entertaining short manages to entertain while sending you away with a worthwhile message to reflect upon.
The picture’s plot is straightforward enough. At the point of departure, we meet Remy (Barry Floyd), a nerdy brother who just had his heartbroken by his two-timing girlfriend, Jin (Celeste Seda). To add insult to injury, word gets around that she left him for an undocumented midget driving a garish, pumpkin-looking jalopy.
More importantly, she’s also Korean and the daughter of the owner of the only beauty supply store in this neck of the ‘hood. That conveniently dovetails with the fact that Remy’s something of a scientist and has just invented a new styling gel called Brazilian Wavy which he’d like her father to carry.
But after being turned down, he hatches an elaborate plan to burglarize the store in the middle of the night with the help of his brother Mavo (Lamont King) and roommate Zakia (Jasmine Burke). Of course, things don’t go as planned, and the ensuing developments are best left unspoiled.
Suffice to say that” Brazilian Wavy” is a fun way to learn that the chemicals black folks use in their hair can cause serious harm, like baldness and blindness. Nevertheless, many are willing to assume the risk and “Live by the perm, die by the perm, and go out in style.”