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Chez Jolie Coiffure cover image

Chez Jolie Coiffure 2018


Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Geoffroy Cernaix
Directed by Rosine Mbakam
Streaming, 70 mins

High School - General Adult
Immigration; Women's Rights

Date Entered: 04/09/2020

Reviewed by Barb Kundanis, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO

In this documentary, Mbakam shares the experience of Jolie Coiffure, a hair salon in the Matonge district in Brussels. The camera observes the comings and goings within this tiny shop at a mall. We listen to Sabine, who runs the salon, as she talks about life. While hairdressing, she periodically regards the steady stream of tourists walking by and expresses her perspective as an immigrant from Cameroon.

As she focused on her mother in The Two Faces of a Bamileke Woman, Mbakam here centers on Sabine. Her cinematic style involves intimate patient examination of strong women surviving despite the challenges they have encountered, revealing a point of view not often seen on screen.

Even while limited by space constraints, the world of Jolie Coiffure comes alive in this short documentary. This film provides a look into immigrant culture (particularly from Africa to Europe) and highlights women's issues. Students interested in these topics can gain context here.