From wanting to make literature with her hair, to making a movie from it.
Kbela is an adaptation of her story MC K-Bela a story published in the Brazilian literary magazine Flupp Penza, which features the work of writers from Favelas. The story talks about her decision to do a big chop. A big chop is the process of cutting off the relaxed or permed ends of one’s hair when one is transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair. When the story was published many girls wrote to her telling her they could relate to it. Unfortunately, Yasmin Thayná says “This is the story of practically every black woman in Brazil who begins to reject relaxed and straightened hair.”
Yasmin Thayná is a young filmmaker and writer from Brazil. She is the director of “Kbela” a short film about natural hair and beauty! It’s after going through her own identity crisis that she decided to write about her own story. The name “Kbela” came from a young boy who yelled “There! There is MC Cabelo (MC Hair)” while she was walking down a hallway in a school, where she used to teach, that Yasmin got her name. Thayná says ” He was mixing two important things—that of the MC or Minister of Ceremony and Cabelo (hair). For me, that was a compliment. So, when I named the story Mc K-bela it was in homage to this kid. Cabelo became “Kbela” because I wanted to communicate that the story was a process of hair and beauty – Cabelo (hair) + Beleza (beauty) = “Kbela.”
Although, she initially wanted the story to be a play. It’s after a large number of responses from women wanting to participate that she knew this could not only be a dramatic narrated play. The short movie was made with only $5000. The movie took 3 years to finish because Thayná got assaulted and lost all the images that was already filmed. Determined, she explained that the experience benefited her and actually made the film stronger. This is definitely an example of “what does not kill you makes you stronger.” She casted most women out of facebook.
Kbela is a 20 minute film shot in Rio. She used the power of music and dance to showcase the journey of Black Brazilian women and their transition to natural hair. The film stars ten Afro-Brazilian actresses, including Maria Clara Araújo a black trans woman. However, in the country where most of our Victoria Secret’s models come from black women are still under-represented in the media. Thayná, confronts beauty standards, as she stirs things up in a film industry dominated by white men.
Hopefully, the movie will feature in many international festivals! But for now I let you enjoy the teaser!