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The Shampoo Summit: Bringing Faiths Together

A Short documentary of a hair salon in Israel featuring the lives and interactions of Muslim, Christian and Jewish women

This documentary titled "The Shampoo Summit" was made by Iris Zaki, a Jewish filmmaker/shampoo girl. The documentary is a little over 7 minutes long and depicts the goings on of a hair salon called Fifi's hair salon, based in Haifa, Israel. Fifi's hair salon consists of Arab women catering to the stylistic needs of their 80% Jewish customer base.

The hair salon is based in an area with both Arabs and Jewish people and is a place where both cultures are able to interact with one another. The majority of the film takes place inside the hair sink with Iris conversating with women in the highly prone state. The decision to film the documentary in this way gives a more intimate setting as viewer feels more personal to the interviewees in most cases.

The documentary begins by detailing the starts of Iris' career as a shampoo girl, here she able to create a dialogue with Muslim-Arab women, Christian-Arab women, and Jewish women.

She begins detailing her own upbringing to an Arab worker of the store, Nawal, expressing that growing up as a Jewish-Israeli girl she was taught to "be afraid of Arabs", the Arab lady is upset by the revelation but agrees with her and states that her upbringing was similar as she was taught to be afraid of Jews.

Iris Zaki having her hair Shampooed,  The Shampoo Summit
Iris Zaki having her hair Shampooed,  The Shampoo Summit

The filmmaker ponders the number of people who have shared the same hair sink, which gives an interesting look into the Isreali life, even though there is friction between the two communities there is still an incredible amount of cross interaction from both sides, due to the similarities in lifestyles of the population.

The documentary tells various stories ranging from the political differences of school children, the different upbringing of the various women featured and one lady whose family was opposed to here visiting a hair salon run by Arabs.

Overall "The Shampoo Summit" is definitely a must-watch for anyone interested in Isreali-Palestinian relations, The artistic choice to only feature the heads of women whilst they're in a wash basin may put off some viewers but their vulnerable state helps to quicken the relatability of the women featured in the documentary.