‘Cutting Loose’: A Film Review

- September 17, 2012

"... fascinating documentary about the Scottish prisons and their hair-cutting program,..."

This blog is written on behalf of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and will serve as an honest, unbiased review of a few films that will be screening this year. Hopefully, these reviews will inspire conversation and discussion amongst other viewers and encourage the overall appreciation and dissection of this art we call film.

"Cutting Loose" is a fascinating documentary about the Scottish prisons and their hair-cutting program, eventually leading up to the Scottish Prison Service hairdressing competition. The documentary paints a very human picture of the criminals in the program, from the drug addict who is defending his title, to the woman with the murder charge dying to get out and see her daughter again. The most touching aspect of this documentary is the trust that is bestowed upon these hair cutters by the people from the “outside world”. It develops a strong sense of community, something that was refreshing and different to see.

We follow and develop a connection with Francis, the defending champion of the competition. We watch him as he competes in his last competition and this beginning of his transition back into society after his sentence is over.  The film is less about the competition and more about the way the program changes the inmates and gives them the confidence to go out into the world with a new skill set that will help them start anew.

Selah Kahrmann is a sophomore at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in the Moving Image Arts department. She is focused on screenwriting and has always had a passion for writing, which she hopes to have a career in after graduatation.