Ahead of the release of Lila Avilés' miraculous debut feature 'The Chambermaid' - exclusively in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema this month, we're rewatching this slyly satirical drama about a housekeeper in Chile. Like Avilés' film, and Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning 'Roma', this is highly perceptive about class, privilege and exploitation in South America and is driven by a compelling central performance.
After 23 years of service to the Valdes family, Raquel is comfortably ensconced in a vague existence between maid and her illusion that she is a family member. Her barely concealed bitterness and increased clashes with her employer's eldest daughter lead the family to think she is overworked. They hire more help, and, feeling usurped, Raquel begins to sabotage each new employee by resorting to childish antics, thus clinging to her ambiguous place within the family.
In his remarkably astute second feature, Silva ('Nasty Baby') questions, without bias, a dusty remnant of class division and the aristocratic tradition of serfdom, and delivers a perceptive and comedic drama.
★★★★ "Thoroughly engaging and often suspenseful mixture of psychodrama and social satire" - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph
★★★★ "Edge-of-the-seat stuff, with a startling denouement, and an outstanding central performance from Catalina Saavedra" - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian