Another day, another debacle of diplomacy from the current administration, amiright? Whether it’s his former campaign manager and personal lawyer both guilty of crimes, a fumbled conference call with the president of Mexico, or the most recent news that a top White House counsel is stepping away, it’s hard to keep up with it all.
So it’s understandable if you missed a little story about Trump, craft beer and Chicago that’s unfolded over the last year or so. In the midst of all the crazy out of Washington, DC, these days, this local tale of resistance is getting the documentary treatment thanks to One City Films, a trio of local filmmakers behind F*** Your Hair: The Latin-Owned Brewery that Dumped Trump. It’s the story of a small, immigrant-owned brewery (5 Rabbit Cerveceria) that got a huge break in 2014 when it was chosen to brew a house beer for Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.
Fast-forward a few years to the launch of Trump’s presidential campaign and his racist remarks about Mexicans. Like anyone with a functioning moral compass, 5 Rabbit owners Andres Araya and Mila Ramirez were aghast at the comments. Their disgust ran a bit deeper, however, given the combination of their own Latin American heritage and their business deal with Trump Tower. They knew immediately they’d have to take a stand if they wanted to be able to sleep at night.
Now in post-production, F*** Your Hair (Chinga Tu Pelo) tells the story of how Araya and Ramirez came to the decision to “dump Trump” and the aftermath of taking such a stand. The filmmakers talk with the owners, their staff, fans of the beer and more about having the courage of one’s convictions, choosing what’s right over what’s lucrative and how one small act of resistance can have a big impact. But F*** Your Hair isn’t just about protesting the current administration. Says producer Nick Jenkins:
This film has relevance regardless of who is in power. At its core, this is a film about freedom of expression, and perhaps more specifically, the right to peaceful or nonviolent protest. These rights are absolutely vital to a functioning democracy. In this case, the 5 Rabbit team was protesting Donald Trump, a direct response to his words about Mexicans and other immigrant communities during his 2015 presidential announcement speech, but the importance of their protest goes far beyond this one case—it shows the power of peaceful, nonviolent protest and how a series of what some would consider small actions can spark an important national conversation.
Jenkins projects that that film will run about 35 minutes; as the team at One City Films (Jenkins, plus director Jason Polevoi and cinematographer Teddy Wachholz) put the finishing touches on the doc, they’ve created a Kickstarter to generate the final funds needed to get to picture lock and start submitting the film to festivals. Just about halfway through the campaign that ends on September 14, the project is already more than 50% funded.
An ordinary person may not be able to do much to hold this administration accountable for its despicable actions, but throwing a few dollars behind a story of a beer-making David who stood up to an orange-skinned Goliath is a good start. Watch the trailer for F*** Your Hair below.
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