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Dark and Lovely, Soft and Free


Paulo Alberton & Graeme Reid
2000 52 min. South Africa, Brazil

Educational DVD Price $150.00

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Dark and Lovely, Soft and Free is a video documentary that follows a network of gay hairstylists and their friends to small towns, rural areas and urban peripheries in South Africa. The film, a project of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, is linked to Graeme Reid's doctoral research on hair salons as gay social and cultural spaces. Presenter Zakhi Radebe, and behind-the-scenes directors Paulo Alberton and Graeme Reid travel thousands of miles through the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, the Free State, the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. On this road trip they and the audience meet stylists who are also preachers, chorists, traditional healers, beauty queens and socialites. Through them we find out about the creative possibilities for making gay spaces in the South African countryside. The documentary provides an alternative vision of acceptance and celebration, in contrast to the wave of homophobia that is sweeping across sub-Saharan Africa.

Dark and Lovely, Soft and Free is a co-production of Franmi Productions (Brazil), the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, and Vidiola.

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