It’s not quite The Help (I only use that because it seems to have become the standard by which all films about maids are now compared).
Here’s the filmmaker’s approach intrigues me, and I’d like to see what the end result looks, sounds and feels like.
It’s titled Doméstica (or Housemaids), a seemingly provocative feature-length documentary by Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro.
It’s a project we’ve been tracking since first writing about it last fall, and a first full trailer has surfaced, giving us a much better look at what to expect.
Mascaro’s approach involved giving video cameras to 7 adolescents from six Brazilian locales, and asked them to film their family’s maids for a week, all day, everyday, for 7 straight days.
So it’s kind of what you’d call an observational documentary, capturing the diversity of employee attitudes towards their maids, the relationship between each maid and the house they are hired to work in, how each reacts to the fact that there’s a camera following them around, and more.
Given how intimate it seems, it could be compelling viewing. I haven’t seen it, so I can’t say. But I’m intrigued by the method chosen.
Of course, one could argue that, while there might be some genuinely poignant moments, how much of what we see is indeed sincere, and not just the maids acting or saying what they think their bosses will want to hear.
In essence, how truthful can they be, when their employers’ kids are the filmmakers behind the cameras recording their every move?
Regardless, I’m still curious.
The film has been traveling the film festival, most recently screening at the Festival Internacional Documentales Chile Santiago (Chile Santiago International Documentary Film Festival), last month. It’ll next screen at the Hollywood Brazilian Film Festival, which runs from July 31 to August 4.