Chattanooga Film Festival: Split Ends (2022)

Isa worries that her abuela is forgetting her thanks to dementia. Meanwhile, on a whim she decides to chop off her hair, which upsets her mother and then worries her — what if this makes her aunt forget her even more? All of the grief and worry powers her hair as it crawls back from the dead and up the drain pipes, confronting her with her impulsive decision.

Split Ends is more than just horror. According to the filmmakers, it’s “a commentary on Latina beauty standards — especially ones that concern women’s hair and are perpetuated by mothers.”

Director and writer Cookie Estés said of making this film, “I’ve leaned very heavily on the making of this film for the last few years, in all of the varying shapes and forms it’s taken on, as a way of processing the anticipatory grief of losing my abuelita who raised me. She passed away peacefully in April of 2021 and this film is dedicated to her.”

I love when horror can help us process emotions that aren’t always easy to articulate. What an interesting film and a cultural experience that I would be ignorant of without getting to watch movies.

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