“We all want to send money home. I send money to my family back home, my cousins, my aunties, and it’s one of the reasons why I work so hard.” So says barber Nicky, in a beautifully shot short film titled Slick Ricks – Sending For Home directed by filmmaker Marcus Mc Sweeney. The short, commissioned by international money-exchange company Skrill, is an upbeat depiction of the experience of many first and second generation immigrants – sending money home. It takes us to Slick Ricks barbers in Camberwell, south London where we meet barber Nicky.
His barbershop is a community space, a place that celebrates local talent and community sharing. “Some people use a therapist to make them happy" he says at one point."…I use clippers!” A home away from home, the short film see dancers congregating and walls adorned with signed football shirts in frames – Essien, Drogba, Zaha…Nicky reels each name off with pride.
Aside from a site of congregation, Slick Ricks is also the means for Nicky to send money home, and as he reels off list of the diverse cultures that pass through his shop…(“Jamaica Nigeria, Ghan, Kenya, Sierra Leone”)…it’s a hustle that we assume most of his clients identify with too.
Speaking about the film, director McSweeney says “On the actual day of the shoot four boys had been stabbed 50m from the front of the shop. You could see news trucks outside and helicopters overhead all-day and there was a real tension in the area. What was happening inside the shop though, was the complete opposite. We were allowed into a world that gave me hope – it felt like a home. A safe place where everyone got on – accepted each other and just had fun! Documenting it felt special but also very important. The whole crew were on a massive high afterwards, and we’ve been down again since. Nikky has become a friend".
You can watch the film below!