Pelo Malo

dir. Mariana Rondón 

So, my school subscribed to this online streaming service called Kanopy. They did it last year, and like all of the other free services they give us, I’ve hardly taken advantage of it. But when I do- I’m never disappointed. The films on Kanopy are so good, and I don’t think some of them would get seen without being curated on the website.

It took me 3+ weeks to finally finishing Pelo Malo, but I’ve been telling a lot of my friends about it in the meantime.

Pelo Malo is a story following a young half Afro-Venezuelan boy who wishes he had straight hair. He has a head full of curly hair, which his mother hates when he tries to straighten as it believes her to think that he is gay. If he is gay, he does not yet know it, but he is aware of his mother’s hatred for him and preference for his younger brother.

Pelo Malo is multifaceted, and the mother’s hatred really can’t be attributed to one thing. It could be for his hair, his darker complexion, and also for his perceived sexual orientation.

I really, really enjoyed this film. It’s really important for what it has to say and even just for calling out the notion that there is such a thing as “bad hair”.

It’s very quiet and understated, which are the films that I really love. It lets you sit with the characters, and it’s the kind of movie that made me wonder what the actors are up to now. It’s because you get invested in the story.

It was such a good watch, and I’ve spent the past 3+ weeks waiting to go back and finish the last 30 minutes.



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