Housemaids
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    Housemaids

    Doméstica

    Directed by

    Brazil

    2013

    76 min

    • Portuguese

    Documentary

    Seven Brazilian teenagers from diverse backgrounds film their live-in maids, providing a personal insight into their relationships with these quasi-family members from another world. Using video cameras, the teenagers film their home help carrying out their daily work: cooking, taking children to school, cleaning, ironing. In candid discussions between tasks, the maids talk about their backgrounds, their work, love and happiness, as well as about how it feels to live with a family as a permanent subordinate. In most cases, the young people have grown up with their maid - in some, she has almost become a full-fledged member of the family. They celebrate holidays together, share a family history and their lives intertwine. Sometimes, the housemaid is passed on within a family from generation to generation. Sometimes they wear a uniform and live in a separate outbuilding, while other times the relationship becomes so close that the lady of the house helps their maid during childbirth. In these domestic "home movies," which are intercut with one another throughout the film, the teenagers reveal how attached they and their maids have become to one another despite the uneven power relations, uncovering a dynamic that goes back to the times of slavery and provides us with a glimpse into the evolution of Brazilian society.

    Awards

    • Best Film - III Cahoeira Doc
    • Special Jury Prize - Panorama Internacional Coisa de Cinema

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Gabriel Mascaro
    Alana Santos Fahel
    Ana Beatriz de Oliveira
    Jenifer Rodrigues Régis
    Juana Souza de Castro
    Luiz Felipe Godinho
    Perla Sachs Kindi
    Claudomiro Carvalho Neto
    Editing
    Eduardo Serrano
    Production
    DESVIA
    Sales
    FIGA FILMS

    Press

    Housemaids' is humorous and sensitive, whilst also managing to be a profound work of denunciation…This is a rare example of recent Brazilian cinema that is capable of unsettling the very core of anyone who sees it...an historic documentary.

    Pedro Butcher, Folha de São Paulo

    No other film has ever managed to portray as deeply what is engrained in the Brazilian unconsciousness.

    Luiz Carlos Merten, Estadão

    Beautiful documentary, 5 estrelas.

    Adorocinema

    Gabriel Mascaro

    Gabriel Mascaro

    Brazil

    My interest in making films is crossing ethical borders, and how these ethical boundaries can be problematized within the film.

    Gabriel Mascaro (1983) lives and works in Recife (Brazil). His work explores hybrid narratives employing intriguing apparatus (dispositifs) that provoke complex and controversial political and aesthetic encounters that reflect on the negotiation of power relationships in their most diverse forms. Spanning cinema and the visual arts, his work has been shown at the Contemporary Art Museums of Barcelona and Vigo, at La Casa Escendida - Madrid, the 32nd Panorama of Brazilian Art at MAM-SP, Videobrasil and at important film festivals, such as Rotterdam, CPHDox, Oberhausen, Visions du Réel, IDFA, Munich, Jihlava, Bafici, Los Angeles, Miami, Indielisboa, Zurich and Bratislava. His work has been reviewed in various magazines, including Variety (USA), Cahiers du Cinema (FRA) and E-Flux (USA). Mascaro participated in the Videobrasil/Videoformes Artist in Residence Program (FRA) where he developed a series of video installations and is in pre-production of his first feature fiction film with support from Hubert Bals Fund (Rotterdam) and Ibermedia. He is known for HOUSEMAIDS (2013) and AUGUST WINDS (2014). His film NEON BULL (2015), awarded at the Venice IFF and Toronto IFF among others, was the big winner at FICCI in the Official Competition in 2016. His film DIVINE LOVE (2019) premiered in Sundance Film Festival and was presented in Berlinale Panorama.

    Selected Filmography