UnLonely Film Festival 6

The Hairdresser

A woman reflects on her experience as a hairdresser for patients in palliative care.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

“For as long as I can remember, my grandmother, Cara Price, dyed her hair fire engine red and wore bright red lipstick to match. Cara wore floral print blouses and costume jewelry, her nails were long and always painted bright colours. Her style was ostentatious, loud, and unapologetic. When Cara passed away at the age of ninety-two, she was barely recognizable—her hair was white, her nails nude, and her lips pale. Shortly after my grandmother’s passing, I read a small newspaper article about a woman named Kathleen Mahony, a volunteer hairdresser for patients in palliative care in Montreal. Her work transformed my understanding of end of life care, and I was finally able to process some of what I felt at the end of my grandmother’s life. I’m sure now that something as simple as painting Cara’s nails or doing her hair would have meant a lot to her. We avoid difficult discussions around death and dying—taboos still dominate our relationship to the end of life. My hope is that this film will invite audiences to ponder what it means to die with dignity and perhaps think differently about our loved ones needs as they approach the end of their own stories. Because ultimately, Kathleen’s work isn’t about beautification or transformation, it’s about the value of intimate human interaction when people are at their most vulnerable. It’s about the simple act of showing up at the end of someone’s life and and saying, I see you.”

Lorraine Price is a Canadian Screen Award winning writer / director. Her films have screened Internationally at festivals such as Hot Docs, AFI Docs, Big Sky, and Hot Springs, and been presented on PBS / POV Docs, Crave, TSN, CBC, and Documentary. In 2017, Lorraine was selected from hundreds of applicants to take part in a practical filmmaking workshop with Werner Herzog. She is an alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC), and a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Website | Instagram

Join the Conversation


How can we best relate to people in the last stages of their lives?


Enter your comments here:

Explore More

Partner on a Program

Follow the example of our community partners and start a program to improve your community's health by using proven creative expression methods.

Sponsor an Initiative

Expand our capacity to offer affordable programs to community partners by contributing to the funding and development of our national initiatives.

The Foundation for Art & Healing