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.
A short by written, directed, and produced by Ayanna Dozier
Co-Producer: MONO NO AWARE
Narrator—James Bennett II
David Armacost, Jordan Bernier, Ayanna Dozier, and Elspeth Walker
“Eleven’s Sake” © 2008 by Nicolas Weise, Lars Scherzberg, and John Hughes