Previously at the ICA - Films

Pelo Malo

30 Jan 20154 Feb 2015

Winner of prestigious Golden Shell & Sebastian Award at the San Sebastián Film Festival

Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize – International Competition & Bronze Alexander Jury Award Thessaloniki Film Festival

Junior (Samuel Lange) is a nine-year-old boy growing up on a housing project in Venezuela with his recently widowed mother Marta (Samantha Castillo) and his baby brother. Searching for an identity without a father figure, Junior starts to feel marginalised by his mother’s preoccupation with his younger brother.

When school term approaches and his yearbook photo is due to be taken, Junior decides to straighten his stubbornly curly hair. His grandmother recommends Junior spend time with her as they have a strong connection and share a love of music and singing. She introduces him to her favourite sixties crooner, Henry Stephen (My Lemon, My Lemon Tree) and suggests he might like to imitate his look for the school photo. Yet as Junior’s fixation with his appearance grows, it soon puts him at odds with his mother.

Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) is a nuanced, wonderfully spirited and touching coming-of-age story from writer-director Mariana Rondón (Postcards from Leningrad), featuring exceptional lead performances by Samuel Lange and Samantha Castillo.

Pelo Malo, dir. Mariana Rondón, Venezuela 2013, 93 mins., Spanish with English subtitles.

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