La nana (The Maid). 2009. Chile. Directed by Sebastián Silva. With Catalina Saavedra, Mariana Loyola, Claudia Celedón. 35mm. In Spanish; English subtitles. 95 min.
At the age of 41, Raquel has already spent over 20 years working for the Valdes family as a live-in maid. She knows each member of the household intimately, and they are fond of her. Raquel’s devotion to the family is absolute, as is the unmistakable boundary between employer and employee. This kind of relationship—equally familial, amiable, and unnatural—is commonplace in many Latin American households, and masks a deeply rooted class divide. Feisty, grumpy, motherly, and humorous, Raquel lives in the center of the film, rather than in the background where a maid usually “belongs,” making Sebastián Silva’s second feature especially tender and perceptive.