Hair India tells a story about the journey made by a young Indian woman’s hair. The trip begins in a village in the Federal state of West Bengal, when Gita offers her medium-length hair in the Hindu temple. She has no money or jewels for the god, but by cutting her hair off, she earns the respect of the entire village. Her parents can also use the proceeds to pay for her little brother’s eye operation, which costs a mere $40.
In Bangalore, rows of women sit in a workshop with piles of hair in front of them, processing them into exquisite tresses, which are then sold to beauty salons all over the world.
In Mumbai, Sangeeta, a successful businesswoman who exchanges gossip with celebrities, is getting hair extensions at a hair salon.
In Rome, Thomas works at Great Lengths, a successful company selling the hair extension to salons worldwide and providing movie stars seductively long locks that cost thousands of dollars.
For Gita, the only valuable thing she has is her long hair, whereas for Sangeeta that hair is a symbol of status and beauty. For many others, it’s primarily a way to earn a great deal of money.
Through the hair’s journey, the film examines modern day beauty ideals and is a story of the cult of beauty in the era of globalization. This is an original view of today’s India with its contradictions, a kaleidoscope of modernity, economic expansion and ancient traditions.
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