Mental health issues can be difficult to talk about openly even in the most ideal settings, but it often helps in settings that promote comfortable intimacy, it can be much easier. One such place is the Hollywood Beauty Salon, a beauty parlor that happens to be part of the NHS Germantown Recovery Community, a Philadelphia non-profit mental health program administered by NHS Human Services.
The new documentary “Hollywood Beauty Salon” follows the lives of the beauty parlor’s patrons, including its owner Rachel “Hollywood” Carr Timms, and how they gather together to share stories, support one another, and of course, get their hair done. Built around their annual “Hair Recovery Show,” a version of a beauty pageant, the film becomes a part of the recovery process for many of the subjects, as they play an active part in shaping their own narratives while workshopping the film. Watch an exclusive clip from “Hollywood Beauty Salon” below.
The film is directed by Glenn Holsten, a Philadelphia-based documentarian. He has previously co-directed “OC87: The Obsessive-Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie,” a feature-length documentary about director Bud Clayman and his struggles with mental illness, “Saint of 9/11,” a biography of Father Mychal Judge, the Chaplain to the New York City Fire Department who died on 9/11, and most recently, “The Barefoot Artist,” a portrait of artist Lily Yeh.
“Hollywood Beauty Salon” opens in New York City on July 29th at the Village East Cinema. For more information, visit the film’s website.