Hair: The Story of Grass

Hair: The Story of Grass (2018, 15 min, dark comedy) شعر: قصة عشب 

***

بعد أن تخلى عنها أميرها، تخدم سندريلا الضيوف، بينما يحاول بيتربان الفرار من الجسد الذي حُبس فيه

Abandoned by her prince, an Arabian Cinderella is left serving guests. Meanwhile, her mentally-challenge warden attempts to escape the body of the hairy grown up he is trapped in. The film explores societal attitudes towards beauty standards and hairiness <IMDB>.

hair-poster-maha-fix-20180918-b.jpg

Poster design by @m.drawing12 / @b_a_2017 and Maha.

“Cultural attitudes towards beauty standards are exhaustively unpacked in this delirious satire, about how hair dictates the social mobility of a put-upon caretaker and her intellectually challenged ward.” – Peter Kuplowsky, Fantastic Fest

***

Synopsis:
Norah is an adopted young woman who longs to leave the house of her harsh adoptive mistress, who instead of treating her like an adopted daughter, makes her work like Cinderella, serve the guests and instructs her to cover the hair in the presence of a strange man. Nora dreams of leaving the house by marrying her sweetheart, Abu Shanab (The man with a mustache). She is also in charge of taking care of her adoptive mistress’ biological son, Yassir, who is mentally challenged. During a visit of her sweetheart Abu Shanab, she exchanges glimpses of admiration with him, but young Yassir, who is obsessed with hair, reveals her hairy legs, making Abu Shanab disgusted. Nora desperately tries to win Abu Shanab back years later through messenger, but he rejects her. She takes out her frustration on Yassir, and forces him to shave her leg as a punishment. Yassir is also desperate to become a child and play with other children, and thinks that the only way of doing so is by shaving his facial hair. He also cannot control his urge to touch little girl’s hair, a gesture that is often misinterpreted by adults and gets him in trouble. Finally, Abu Shanab visits their house only to break Nora’s heart further by bringing a beautiful bride. Things turn into chaos in the house, as Yassirs runs into a room full of female guests, who treat him as a grown man and scream to cover up from him. After getting lock in his room, Yassir takes out his frustration on Abu Shanab while seeing him in the garden, and spits on him, avenging Nora. Nora becomes content by this insult to her ex-sweetheart, and decides to give Yassir a facial shave as a reward. He is content, because he thinks he became a child again.

***
Director’s statement:

The film explores society’s attitudes towards human hair: desirable head hair, excess body hair that is viewed with disgust, and facial hair that is used as a definition of masculinity. Both of the two main characters are defined by one of these hair-related categories. Yassir, the mentally challenged man refuses to grow up and longs to play with children, but is considered a man due to his beard and is therefore viewed with suspicion when approaching children. Meanwhile, Norah, his caregiver is deemed ugly due to her hairy legs and her unruly head hair. The film sheds light on issues of gender, beauty standards and oppression towards the mentally challenged.

في حقبة بداية الألفية وعصر دخول الإنترنت، تجد نورة ذاتها حبيسة منزل حجازي تقليدي و ابنة متبناة لامرأة متسلطة، حيث مهربها الوحيد هو الزواج من أبو شنب. تشعر نورة بعدم الثقة في ذاتها وسط أعراف اجتماعية تجسد شعر الجسد المرغوب، المقبول أو المنبوذ. تعيش نورة كسندريلا معاصرة: تنظف، تخدم الضيوف بينما تأمرها الأم المتسلطة بتغطية شعرها، غير عابئة برغبتها أن تكون جميلة كقريناتها. ليزيد الطين بلة، تهتم نورة بإبن مربيتها -ياسر- والذي يعاني من تأخر في نمو العقل. يعيش ياسر بريئا كطفل يتوق للعب مع الأطفال، بينما يمنعه جسده البالغ من الاختلاط بهم حيث يعد “رجلا” في نظر المجتمع. كما تحركه رغبات غير مفهومة بأن يلمس شعر البنات، التصرف الذي يسيء فهمه الكبار فيفسرونه تحرشا. تصارع نورة الكبت العاطفي فتتحول إلى وحش غاضب يصب جام خيبته في ياسر. وفي لحظة ضعف ترثي موت عشب حديقتهم الخضراء التي تحولت إلى سجن اسمنتي مع التمدن العمراني السريع، والذي تشبهه برغبتنا في تخليص أجسادنا من الشعر رغبة في التحضر والقبول الاجتماعي. يروي الفلم قصة واقعية تسلط الضوء على شخصيتين حقيقيتين مهمشتين في المجتمع.

***

Official Festival Selections/Nominations:

***

Full Cast and Crew List

Genesis of the project

 

Advertisements

If you wish to contact the author, please leave a comment with your contact information here (it will not be displayed).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s