Portfolio > Film

16mm, B&W and Color
5 min

Experimental short, 5 min

Softer examines the demands of "softening" that are requested of Black women's bodies in society---from job prospects to romantic ones---be that in their voice, their manners, and, critically, their hair. The experimental short plays upon the grooming rituals of softening that are terrifyingly rough through a recreation of a permanent wave machine produced perm (popular in the 1930s-1950s). The short mediates on the historical ways in which Black women have tried to answer this demand on softness through respectable appearance and behavior.

Femme Filmmaker Festival 2020
Open City Docs. Festival 2020
Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2020, Winner Best Experimental


A short by written, directed, and produced by Ayanna Dozier
Co-Producer: MONO NO AWARE

Beautician—Alexis Francis
Woman—Karissa Francis
Narrator—James Bennett II

Set Design: David Armacost, Jordan Bernier, Ayanna Dozier, and Elspeth Walker

Music: “Eleven’s Sake” © 2008 by Nicolas Weise, Lars Scherzberg, and John Hughes