Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dreadheads the Movie

The DVD is available here

From Video Business:

Dreadheads: Portrait of a Subculture
By Cheryl Cheng

There are several assumptions one might have upon encountering someone with dreadlocks, aka a "dreadhead": They enjoy such bands as Phish and The Grateful Dead, often smoke joints and live a hippie, bohemian lifestyle lacking gainful employment. Dreadheads does nothing to dispel these stereotypes, as most of the people interviewed fit one, if not all, characteristics, but this documentary does give viewers a better understanding of a subculture that is unified by a particular hairstyle. As to why dreadheads style their hair this way, some cite laziness ("I just didn't brush it"), others explain that it's their "power source," describing an aura of energy that exists in their hair, and still others are less astute ("Your hair is what it is. It's not a style. It's not anything. It's what it is."). Filmmakers Hurlburt and Holmes provide some answers of their own, linking dreadlocks to religious origins and the Rastafarian culture up to the modern-day generation of dreadheads, who form communities across the country. Greater focus is given to some interviewees over others, such as the psychedelic artist who lost her soul mate to drugs or the woman who travels with 22 people and 12 dogs in a converted MTA bus. For those who live in cramped buses or other such unhygienic conditions, there is a segment about generic bar soap as a method to combat dreadheads' common experience with head lice. The documentary also features insightful interviews with The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, Widespread Panic's Dave Schools and John Bell and The Dead's Jimmy Herring as well as sociologists who compare dreadheads to other such fringe groups as circus freaks and the Beat poets of the '50s. Dreadheads is an interesting look at a subculture that should even find renters among those who crop their locks regularly.

Color, NR (mature themes), 77 min., DVD $19.98
DVD: outtakes, interview, video montage
Street: Aug. 29, Prebook: now
First Run: DVD premiere
Directors: Steven R. Hurlburt, Flournoy Holmes


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