Maids

A spirited, kaleidoscopic comedy (2001) about the lives of five domestic servants in Sao Paulo—chatterboxes who confess to the camera and one another their aspirations, foibles, letdowns, and superstitions, as well as the class and racial differences that govern their world. Directors Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and Nando Olival seldom show the maids' employers, though the women give us an earful about the proclivities of the upper class. The editing is occasionally rough and some of the characters' predicaments are familiar, but by letting these maids and their kin speak their minds the directors humanize a tight-knit community of marginalized workers. In Portuguese with subtitles. 87 min.

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