African Beauties

43' 

Antelope moon, golden dates, desert flowers. There are hundreds of words which convey the beauty of African women. Copious amounts of time have been dedicated to this subject, in particular the amazing hair creations. Works of art, based on ancient knowledge, adorn the heads of women from the busy Malian metropolis of Bamako on the river Niger to the Sahara, the world's largest desert, on which the Tuareg nomads roam.

The fleeting hair artworks bear such marvellous names as "Bogotiginou" or "Dembaku", meaning "On the go", "Serpent" or "Mango Blossom". Even pop stars and political heroes such as "Shakira" or "Mandela" are cited. Humor is also not neglected, with some hair creations referred to as "Crooked" or "Congo-Rat".

The film reveals whose dexterous fingers transform hair from its natural state into tamed beauty and shows diverse exponents of the profession - from street braiders to the winners of traditional braiding art competitions right up to hip hair salons. It follows a candidate in the Miss Yayoroba contest in Bamako and takes a look behind the leather curtains of a bridal tent at a Tuareg wedding in the Sahara. It also allows Malick Sidibé, the world famous guru of African photography, to share his comments on the topic.

 

Producer: Fact+Film
Production year: 2011
Broadcasters: arte, ZDF
Languages: English, German

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