The Barber Shop captures the genteel everyday convivialities of life in a male hairdressers. The multicultural neighbourhood in which the film is set has often found itself at the centre of questions about how we live together, typically through a lens that problematises difference. This film steps away from engaging with these questions and focuses instead on the intimacies between barbers and clients developed during and alongside their haircare and personal grooming regimens. Yet in doing so, it disrupts many of the well-worn tropes around race, religion and gender and gives a light-hearted glance at friendship and alternative masculinities.
Bethan Harries is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests are in racism and ethnicity, youth, urban citizenship, devolution and nationalism. She is the author of the book, Talking race in young adulthood (2017).
Samuèle Rémillard Boilard is a PhD researcher in Sociology at the University of Manchester and a member of the Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group. Before undertaking her PhD in 2015, Samuèle completed a master's degree in Social Work and a bachelor's degree in Applied Political Studies and International Relations at the Université de Sherbrooke (Canada).