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Film Festival 09 - The Maid

The Maid

La nana, Chile 2008, 96m
Director: Sebastián Silva
Festivals: Sundance, New Directors/New Films 2009

The ties that bind a live-in maid to the family for whom she has worked for over twenty years are coming unstuck in this agile, genre-shifting psychological drama. Catalina Saavedra is riveting as the emotionally under-nourished Raquel, eager to please one moment, baleful and jealous the next. Turning 41 she wavers between the conviction that she's a valued family member and the temptations that come her way to undermine the increasingly churlish teenage children who were once her darlings. Raquel's passive aggressive household subterfuges are exacerbated to blackly funny effect by her employer's insensitivity in employing another maid to help her out. The winner of the Sundance World Cinema dramatic competition grand jury prize as well as an acting award for Saavedra, Sebastián Silva's film provides a richly detailed, entertainingly impolite, ultimately rather sympathetic picture of Latin American privilege and its discontents. - Bill Gosden
In Spanish with English subtitles