“Dear White People” director Justin Simien’s new satire takes a look at the societal pressures Black women face
Seven years after bursting into the film scene with “Dear White People,” Justin Simien is mixing his satirical style with horror in “Bad Hair,” his latest film coming to Hulu on October 23.
The film, which got a new trailer on Thursday, stars Elle Lorraine as Anna, a TV station assistant in 1989 who is ordered by her pushy new boss (Vanessa Williams) to ditch her natural hair and get a weave. Anna complies, and when she does, the weave soon forms a life of its own, going on a murderous rampage from atop the woman’s scalp.
Premiering at this year’s Sundance in the Midnight section, “Bad Hair” is Simien’s attempt to blend campy horror with a serious look at how American culture values the aesthetics of Black womanhood while neglecting Black women themselves. In an interview with RogerEbert.com, the filmmaker cited Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” as a major inspiration for the film, showing him how the horror genre blends perfectly with the experience of being Black in America.
“[Anna]’s constantly being presented with choices that are not real choices. You know, like you got to get a weave or get fired, or you have to get these women on board or you lose your friendships,” he said. “These things are like, ‘Oh, this is gonna empower me.’ But actually, it does something else that ensnares her just a little bit further. And I don’t know, that’s my experience being Black in America. And I feel like it’s even worse for Black women. That’s because in a dog eat dog system, you take what you can get. There’s a lot of times the choice is really not a choice. And I kind of wanted to point that out.”
Check out the trailer for “Bad Hair” above, and watch Justin Simien’s interview with TheWrap at Sundance here.
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