The doc, which Ranen says has been viewed some 100,000 times, delves into the racial and economic issues raised by the fact that most of the black hair-care industry's retail and wholesale markets are controlled by Korean, not African American, businesspeople.
Ranen's film inspired Bay Area hair-product manufacturer Sam Ennon to found the Black Owned Beauty Supply Association, or BOBSA, now a national organization aimed at what Ennon calls "reorganizing the whole industry in terms of the distribution channel. It's not that we want to run the Koreans out of business — we just want to share in the business. We want to recirculate the black dollar."
Ennon says Black Hair gave BOBSA's cause a major assist. "A picture speaks better than words. The film is really what turned it completely around."
It’s all in a day's work for Ranen, who seems to attract unexpected spontaneity and the not-occasional weird coincidence. His DV Workshops was funded with a settlement he received after learning that Nine Inch Nails had sampled one of his films without permission. The dialogue snippet, taken from Ranen's film Religion in Suburbia, just happened to include this phrase: "do you believe in miracles?" SFBG
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