[Screen It]


(2009) (Documentary) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Minor Heavy None Minor
Moderate None None Minor Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor None Heavy None

Documentary: Comedian Chris Rock takes a look at the hair care industry for black women and the push for them to have locks more akin to white women than their own ethnicity.
Following his young, African-American daughter asking why she doesn't have "good hair," comedian Chris Rock sets out to examine her question, the views of women of varying ages of the same ethnicity, and the multi-billion dollar hair care industry aimed squarely at them.

Through interviews with ordinary people, industry insiders and famous faces such as Kerry Washington, Eve, Meagan Good, Sarah Jones, Nia Long, Raven-Symoné, Maya Angelou and various men including Ice-T and Al Sharpton, the comedian/actor takes a look at what black women think about their hair, including the quest of many to modify their locks, via the use of relaxer and weaves, to make them appear more akin to that found on white women than their own ethnicity.

All of which leads to the annual and lucrative Bronner Brothers Hair Show in Atlanta where contestants such as Derek J, Jason Griggers, Freddie Jones and Tonya Crumel compete in the Hair Battle Royale Competition.

Unless they're fans of Chris Rock or are interested in the subject matter, it doesn't seem too likely.
For some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity.
Everyone in the film appears as themselves, with some use of profanity, sexually related talk, and lots of obsession with straightening and/or lengthening women's hair to make it look more "white" than natural among African American women.


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

The following is a brief summary of the content found in this documentary that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 2 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is also present, while a bare breast is partially and briefly seen, some scantly clad women are seen, and there are some sexualized moves and contact during a choreographed hair styling competition.

Some general and non-serious, drug-related comments are made, and there's brief smoking content. Some bad attitudes are present, as is some potentially imitative behavior along with various thematic elements and topics to talk about.

Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are some brief strobe-like flashes at the beginning of the film.

For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camerawork in the film.

  • A woman jokes that she's on the "creamy crack" (relaxer).
  • Chris comments that kiddie Perm has the same stuff as a regular perm, just milder, meaning the equivalent would be kiddie beer.
  • Chris states that he'll tell his daughters not to smoke, drink or have babies before they're married.
  • Chris jokes that just like some people have wine cellars in their homes, others have weave cellars where they keep such hair attachments. He then jokes that such clientele are more hooked on weaves than people are on cocaine. He then adds the difference is that with a lifelong habit, drug users would have already been through rehab, etc.
  • Chris asks an Indian hair merchant about how much hair they process, and the man says it's measured in kilos, with Chris joking about such "K's" and that it's like Scarface with cocaine.
  • About no one touching her weave, Chris jokes with a woman that she'd have to be high to allow that and she responds in the affirmative.
  • Chris parts with a young girl, jokingly telling her, "Stay off the pipe."
  • We see a close-up view of a scalp scab from a relaxer burn.
  • We see Botox needles being inserted into Jason's facial skin, leaving some red marks.
  • We see brief archival footage of some white supremacists.
  • A man states that in India prized hair is cut from women's heads while they sleep and attend movies, and that such hair is worth more than gold.
  • As something of a joke where he knows the outcome, Chris goes around trying to sell authentic black hair, but nobody wants it. Some act in disgust, with one Asian merchant having some racist reasons for turning him down.
  • A few black people use the term "n*gger."
  • None.
  • A cartoon about Goliath shows both a sword and a whip.
  • Chris asks if anyone's been shot (to compare that pain to having relaxer applied) and one man says he was shot in the face in the past.
  • Phrases: "Double the f*cking size," "This is some bullsh*t," "I don't have sh*t," "Tear that sh*t up," "What the hell is relaxer?" "I am on the creamy crack" (relaxer), "Chicks," "A tumbling, tumble-weave," "A weave-ologist," "Bitch cost money" (said about hair), "Kick somebody's ass," "That is real economic retardation," "Big ass," "(You're my) N*gger" (said by a black person) and "Hell no/yeah."
  • The film might inspire young girls to want to straighten or otherwise alter their hair to appear more "white" as mentioned in the pic.
  • Various people have various styles of tattoos, including women who have them on their chests/tops of breasts (such as Eve).
  • We see one styling competitor (Tonya) practicing a move by hanging upside down by her knees to cut hair that way. She later does the same in the competition.
  • A woman has a pierced navel.
  • A few Indian women have pierced nostrils and such.
  • A man states that in India prized hair is cut from women's heads while they sleep and attend movies, and that such hair is worth more than gold.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song had a lyric that sounded like it included the phrase "feel sexy," while other lyrics couldn't be fully understood and/or heard, thus presenting the possibility of the presence of other potentially objectionable material.
  • At least 2 "f" words, 5 "s" words, 3 slang terms for breasts ("t*tties"), 3 asses, 3 damns, 3 hells, 3 uses of "Oh God," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus," "Oh Lord" and "Swear to God."
  • A photo shows a woman's cleavage.
  • We see a photo of a woman in a bikini top or the equivalent.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Chris comments that one competitor probably came in second in last year's hair competition due to too much nudity (we see brief flashback footage that includes a brief side view of a woman's bare breast).
  • We see Jason with his shirt open.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Chris states that he'll tell his daughters not to smoke, drink or have babies before they're married.
  • We see a midriff and cleavage-revealing top.
  • We see young women seated on guys' laps as they lie on the floor (facing their feet) as part of a dance routine rehearsal for the styling competition (everyone's dressed).
  • When a hair merchant comments that the most prized hair is 10 inches or more, Chris jokes that's just like the porn industry (but the other man doesn't seem to get the penis joke).
  • An Indian figurine seems to show bare breasts.
  • Chris jokes about donated Indian hair going to doctors, lawyers and strippers twirling around on poles.
  • We see cleavage in photos.
  • A woman says that taking a shower with a man can be more intimate than sex (due to the usual avoidance of getting one's weave wet and thus ruining it).
  • Talking about things that are fake on a woman's body, and especially that black women don't want men touching their weave, Ice-T says he doesn't care if a woman's "t*tties" are fake as long as he can squeeze them.
  • About having sex while having a weave that she doesn't want to mess up, a woman states that sex can be awkward and it's best to stay on top.
  • About having sex with a woman who has a weave she doesn't want to mess up, a man's advice is to keep one's hand on the "t*tties" and repeats that term. The sexual phrases "tear that sh*t up" and "I didn't get at it yet" are also used.
  • A man talks about making love with a woman, saying he was "getting it" from behind (and then says it was "doggy style") and grabbed her hair that then came off (due to being a weave) and that he briefly thought she was a guy, but then adds she wasn't.
  • After Chris asks various black men if they can be more intimate with white women than black women (due to the latter and their "don't touch the hair" attitude), one man confirms that.
  • In the Bronner Brothers hair styling contest, we see female models dressed in very skimpy lingerie (cleavage, butt cheeks, etc.), while Jason strips down to just his boxers before getting dressed into something else. He then proceeds to do his performance, which has some sexualized elements to it, including some rhythmic movement.
  • We see another competitor and the related models, including some muscular guys wearing only shorts carrying a woman on a platform on which she writhes around a bit, followed by other slightly sexualized routines, while women are seen in a bikini tops.
  • One female interviewee is labeled (via an onscreen title) as a "video vixen."
  • We briefly see young women in bikini tops.
  • We see a miscellaneous person with an unlit cigarette.
  • Chris states that he'll tell his daughters not to smoke, drink or have babies before they're married.
  • None.
  • The commonly held notion among some black women that good hair means "white" hair.
  • The comment that hair is a woman's glory.
  • The comment that relaxer is a "nap" antidote.
  • The comment that white people are more relaxed around black people with relaxed (straight) hair compared to Afros and such.
  • The comment that the notion of straight hair has been coached to black people forever.
  • We see brief archival footage of some white supremacists.
  • The comment that if you can make a black woman happy (in this case, satisfying her hair care needs), you can live like a king.
  • The comment that it's hard for black business people to get into the black hair industry (as far as creating and selling hair care products).
  • The fact that much of the hair weaves sold to black women is made from Indian hair.
  • A man states that in India prized hair is cut from women's heads while they sleep and attend movies, and that such hair is worth more than gold.
  • The fact that women in an Indian temple donate their hair for religious purposes, apparently unaware that it's then collected and sold for lots of money.
  • Those who suffer from alopecia.
  • The effect of black women being so obsessed (with and spending so much money on their hair) on their boyfriends and husbands.
  • A woman says that taking a shower with a man can be more intimate than sex (due to the usual avoidance of getting one's weave wet and thus ruining it).
  • The comment that barbershops and beauty salons are the social centers of black communities.
  • The comment that what's in a girl or woman's head is more important than what's on it.
  • None.

  • Reviewed September 18, 2009 / Posted October 9, 2009

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