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“Linus Has His Blanket. Radha Has Her Head Wrap”: Radha Blank | The 40-Year-Old Version

Radha Blank appears in The 40-Year-Old Version by Radha Blank (courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell?

Radha’s head wrap. It seems to be a nice fashion accessory. One that nods to Black and African culture and reflects identity and cultural pride. And in a time when women obsess over our looks and feel pressured to express ourselves through hair, a head wrap feels like an act of rebellion. A way of saying “I am not my hair!” But in the film, the head wrap is also about security for someone who needs a sense of comfort from the loss of her mom. About a year or so after my mom passed (she was my best friend. We share a birthday) I posted a pic of myself on Instagram with a new haircut and folks responded like, “Omg you have hair!” And it was then I realized I’d had my head covered for over a year…not unlike the widow who wears all black to mourn her life partner, my head wrap was my security blanket. Having my head covered meant feeling less exposed or vulnerable. And it’s also like that for my character. Linus has his blanket. Radha has her head wrap.

Sundance Responses 2020

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