In the late 1960s, theatre makers James Rado and Gerome (Jerry) Ragni spread a critical, artistic message about those turbulent days. They composed the musical ‘Hair’, which dealt with the hated Vietnam War, racism, and free love and sex. These New Yorkers had never thought their musical would become world-famous. Nowadays, fresh cast members still get enthusiastic about ‘Hair’s’ message. As in 1969, they sing about and discuss the current political climate. The filmmakers alternate interviews with those involved from the very beginning with archive footage from those days: both news footage and photos of various ‘Hair’ performances. Unfortunately, the Hair movement not only represented love, peace and happiness. Threats came in on a daily basis, AIDS began to take its toll, and many cast members died untimely deaths. The musical veterans feel it is the current generation’s turn to denounce the war in Iraq.
Pola Rapaport was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up in New York City where she graduated from the Institute of Film and TV at New York University. Her previous work includes ‘Broken Meat’ (1990), ‘Blind Light’ (1998), ‘Family Secret’ (2000), ‘September Eleventh: Eyewitnesses’ (2002), ‘Writer of O’ (2004).
Hair: Let the Sun Shine In
2007, 54', color/bw, video
Yen Le Van
Silvie Cazin, Pola Rapaport
Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, Blinding Light, Inc