\\<\/iframe\> The Chambermaid centers on twenty-something Eve, who works as a maid in Mexico City's high-end Hotel Presidente Intercontinental. Director Lila Avilés' feature debut, the film takes the viewer from hotel room to hotel room as Eve (Gabriela Cartol) cleans the 21st floor.
A single mother who travels to work via bus for two hours each way, we're given glimpses into her daily life. She showers at the hotel as her own neighborhood has no running water. Along with work, she also takes GED classes and wishfully examines lost-and-found items, including a beautiful red dress. For the most part, the two-hour film takes place entirely within the hotel.
Starting Aug. 15, Cincinnati World Cinema's downtown Garfield Theatre will host screenings followed by a post-show discussion.
"Eve's precarious existence mirrors the constrained lives of so many people working in Latin America and is the real, political heart of the movie," CWC's description reads. "As we witness her shy reserve in her work life, punctuated by the warm extrovert she becomes when on the phone with her four-year-old son or a friend, we understand that traversing the hierarchies imposed by the system — not making beds or cleaning toilets — is her real job. And hard work and concepts like 'merit' have little to do with reality — she painfully discovers that it's not necessarily the most hard-working who get promoted."
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw calls it "an eerily atmospheric, poignant, disquieting movie about 21st-century luxury and the invisible servant class required to maintain it."
But The Chambermaid attempts to invite viewers into the life of a woman who would otherwise be made invisible by her class standing. As it's set in the same city as Alfonso Cuarón's Academy Award Winning Roma — and both films center on domestic workers, though in disparate ways — the two have drawn several comparisons. (While Roma centers on a family's relationship to their nanny, Eve is employed by a corporation.) The Chambermaid, which has secured a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, has also garnered a handful of accolades, including 10 Ariel Awards (the Mexican equivalent of The Oscars).
As cited in CWC's film description, The Chambermaid is a slice-of-life story that follows a character who yearns for a better life than the one she currently inhabits. Dates run through Aug. 18. For more info and to secure tickets visit cincyworldcinema.org or call 859-957-3456. General admission tickets are $10 advance; $15 at the door.