offense at President
about Mexican immigrants,
a Chicago beer maker
brews up a protest
Chicago production company One City Films has bottled the essence of American politics into a new film about cultural dignity, First Amendment rights, and beer.
F*** Your Hair: The Latin-Owned Brewery that Dumped Trump tells the tale of how 5 Rabbit Cervecería decided to protest the 45th President by renaming one of its most popular brands with a vulgar command to his pile of “blonde” locks.
“It is a 30-40 minute short documentary that follows the intrepid decision of 5 Rabbit Cervecería to stop brewing Trump’s private label beer and start brewing a protest beer called Chinga Tu Pelo,” says producer Nick Jenkins. “It means ‘F*** Your Hair.’”
F*** YOUR HAIR TRAILER BY ONE CITY FILMS
Before Donald Trump began his campaign for President, 5 Rabbit Cervecería was a successful suburban Chicago microbrewery that sold more than half a dozen brands, including Trump’s Golden Ale, to bars, restaurants, and the Trump Hotel itself.
But when Donald Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants in a 2015 campaign speech — “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”— 5 Rabbit’s partner Andres Araya and his wife Mila Ramirez took action, and Chinga Tu Pelo was born.
“When they heard those words from Trump, they thought of their daughter, who is a Mexican citizen” explains Jenkins. “It was hurtful to them.”
Araya is a Costa Rican immigrant who met Ramirez, a Peruvian woman, when she was a fellow student at Purdue University. After graduating and earning citizenship, they got married and had a daughter while living in Mexico.
One City learned about Chinga Tu Pelo through Jason Polevoi, who owns the production company with Jenkins and Teddy Wachholz.
A craft beer aficionado and former WGN producer, Polevoi originally approached 5 Rabbit about participating in an episode of Chicago’s Best that focused on brewpubs in late 2017. When the topic shifted to 5 Rabbit’s protest, Polevoi urged them to let One City turn it into a documentary.
The “soft-spoken” Andres and the “outspoken” Mila, were initially reluctant.
“They hadn’t been open to doing a lot of press,” explains Jenkins. “There was support in Chicago, but a lot of backlash in general across the US.”
After gaining the couples’ trust a few months later, the filmmakers got to hear the whole Chinga story in early 2018.
“We were amazed at the depth, the characters, and the boldness of the decision,” Jenkins continues, “to say to Donald Trump, ‘I no longer want to do business with you,’ and instead actually protest by brewing a beer that makes fun of him.”
5 Rabbit’s statement was overshadowed by those of larger companies like Macy’s and Serta — both of which made widely publicized decisions to stop selling Trump-related merchandise — but the work that it required, the risks that it carried, and the emotions that it inspired were epic by comparison.
To get it all on film, One City completed fifteen separate interviews, most of them shot with three cameras.
“What amazed me most was how many people wanted to stand up and have their voice heard as someone who played a role in the story,” says Jenkins. “Andres and Mila put themselves out there, and they were proudly embraced by many members of the Chicago community and beyond.”
The range of people who go on record is as wide as it is large.
Kent “Battle” Martin, a former US Tax and Trade Bureau Specialist known as the “Beer Bottle Dictator,” explains how freedom of expression and the right to nonviolent protest allow manufacturers to use the likeness of Trump on their packaging.
Chicago’s own Academy Award-winning filmmaker Lilly Wachowski talks about Chinga Tu Pelo’s transformation into La Protesta, a new 5 Rabbit’s brand that features one of her paintings on the label.
And how does it taste? According to Jenkins, Chinga was designed to be “quite drinkable.”
“It’s light and refreshing,” he says. “One of those beers you can enjoy on a nice summer day.”
Noisefloor composer Devin Delaney is currently working on what Jenkins describes as a “powerful, Latin-flavored” soundtrack for F*** Your Hair, which is in the almost-final stages of post-production.
To keep up to speed with the film and help get it finished along the way, check out One City’s Kickstarter campaign.
Send your film updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org.