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Bad Hair Life: A Documentary
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a film by Jennifer Raikes
WINNER 2003 International Health & Medical Media Award BEST FILM for PSYCHIATRY
WINNER 2004 Superfest Film Festival Merit Award
This vivid one-hour documentary explores the often deeply secretive disorder, trichotillomania, or compulsive hair pulling. The idea for this film grew out of the personal experience of Jennifer Raikes, formerly a producer at Middlemarch Films, who has had trichotillomania for over 20 years. Five years in the making, the documentary is the first in depth portrayal of this complex disorder and the profound impact it has on the lives of those struggling with it. The documentary presents intimate portraits of adults and children at different stages of coping with hair-pulling. Using art, photography and interviews, Bad Hair Life examines the importance of hair to our identities and the cultural forces that make this disorder feel shameful. The director shares her own history with hair-pulling, starting when she was nine and idly pulled out her first eyelash, through years of embarrassment and hiding, to her present quest to understand this mysterious behavior. Expert researchers and clinicians discuss the disorder's causes and treatment. But the film's greatest power is in its intensely honest, first-hand accounts of life with trichotillomania.
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