La nana


La nana
Sebastián Silva
2009, Forastero/Tiburón/Punto Guion Punto
95 minutes (Spanish with English subtitles)

LATAMROB rating: ***

A LATIN AMERICAN version of The Remains of the Day, this grips the imagination for being such a subtle exploration of the servile condition – yet also how it can be reversed as a result of weariness and rivalry. In La nana (The Maid), Catalina Saavedra delivers a captivating performance as Raquel, the veteran domestic of an affluent Chilean family, whose intensifying reaction against her own mental servitude as she rediscovers herself is beginning to reveal itself in increasingly anti-social discontent. Hard work meeting the demands upon her have, combined with failing health, conspired to bring her position into question. Gripped by guilt, the mistress tries to alleviate the grumpy maid’s workload by taking on extra help, a move that Raquel interprets badly. The Maid creates a claustrophobic microcosm of the Upstairs, Downstairs tensions that prevail in much of middle-class Latin America. It is humorous, edgy, at times menacing, and unmissable. – EC

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