BUSHWICK, Brooklyn — It’s a scene that could have played out in a number of gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Shot in a Crown Heights hair salon, the movie “Hair Wolf” tells the story of local residents trying to fend off a new monster: the white woman trying to suck the life-blood from black culture.
“I’m born and raised in Harlem, New York so if anybody knows about gentrification it’s me,” said actress Kara Young.
Young plays the lead in the movie and she says the comedy-horror flick tackles the issue of cultural appropriation that she’s seen play out first hand.
“You see a lot of women who are not of color sporting cornrows and wearing scarves and what we call “door knockers”, these huge earrings, that when we wear it, it’s not fashionable, but when they wear it, it’s like the most beautiful thing on the planet,” she said.
“A lot of our films are Brooklyn stories,” said Bushwick Film Festival Founder Kweighbaye Kotee. “We want to make sure that we’re screening at the festival is reflective of the community and of Brooklyn.”
Kotee says she’s seen tension over gentrification play out in the neighborhood over 11 years she’s run the festival.
But she’s hopeful that movies like “Hair Wolf” will help bring the community together to talk about the issues.
“I think it’s a very important film for what’s happening right now in Brooklyn.”
While the movie is shot as an old-school horror flick, Brooklyn Writer and Film Director Mariama Diallo uses comedy to push past what sometimes become tragic conversations.
“It comes from the same exact place,” said Young. “So, I think what Mariama Diallo has done as a writer has gotten to a very soft spot for people to laugh and then think about what they laughed about.”
“I think comedy has the power to start important conversations in a way that pushes it through.”
Which is why both women are confident the community will be talking about Hair Wolf next week.
The film will screen as part of a collection of shorts at LightSpace Studios on October 13th.
For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.bushwickfilmfestival.com