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Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women's Hair
Directed by Nadine Valcin and Produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny
Canada, 1999, 40 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W00652
Afros, braids or corn rows--hairstyles have always carried a social message, and few issues cause as many battles between black parents and their daughters. To "relax" one's hair into straight tresses or to leave it "natural" inevitably raises questions of conformity and rebellion, pride and identity. Today, trend-setting teens happily reinvent themselves on a daily basis, while career women strive for the right "professional" image, and other women go "natural" as a symbol of comfort in their Blackness. Filmmaker Nadine Valcin meets a diverse group of black women who reveal how their hairstyles relate to their lives and life choices. BLACK, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL celebrates the bonds formed as women attend to each other's hair while exploring how everyday grooming matters tap into lively debates about self-determination and society's perceptions of beauty.


  • Columbus International Film and Video Festival, Honorable Mention
  • Festival Vues d'Afrique
  • The History Channel
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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    "Amazing that a documentary about hair can say so much about politics, race and culture."
    Antonia Zerbisias
    The Toronto Star

    " An entertaining and informative primer on the do's and don'ts of Black hair....Filmmaker Nadine Valcin runs her comb through some of the tangled dilemmas surrounding Black hairstyles."
    Starweek Magazine

    "The film also examines the mother-daughter relationships often strained by the hairstyles chosen by the younger generation. It's an interesting subject handled earnestly by Valcin."
    Finbarr O'Reilly
    The National Post

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us