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‘Nanny’ Trailer: Nikyatu Jusu’s Sundance-Winning Thriller Unravels the American Dream

Anna Diop and Michelle Monaghan star in the Blumhouse Production about a babysitter haunted by supernatural forces.

A still from Nanny by Nikyatu Jusu, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Nanny”

Sundance

What happens when one mother leaves to take care of another’s child?

The psychological thriller “Nanny” unveils the dynamic between a Senegalese single mother (Anna Diop) who emigrates to the United States to earn enough money to bring her own son to America, and her wealthy employer (Michelle Monaghan).

Per the official synopsis, haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind, Aisha (Diop) hopes her new job will afford her the chance to bring him to the U.S., but becomes increasingly unsettled by the family’s volatile home life. As his arrival approaches, a violent presence begins to invade both her dreams and her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.”

Written and directed by Nikyatu Jusu, “Nanny” won the Grand Jury Dramatic prize at Sundance earlier this year and will released by Prime Video in a continued partnership with Blumhouse. “Nanny” premieres in theaters November 23 and will be streaming on Prime Video December 16, with bows at the fall festivals beforehand.

Jusu described her film as “an existential — but sexy — fever dream” that turns into a nightmare. “Nanny” made history as the first horror film to take the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for drama at Sundance, with Jusu being the second Black woman filmmaker to win the award.

Jusu told IndieWire that “Nanny” was a “labor of love” for over nine years. “It’s so specific to my culture and my mother’s story,” Jusu shared. “I knew that I didn’t want to tell a straightforward genre story. I wanted to remix this story of a domestic experience with genre. A lot of the films I love do that. I wanted to remix the American immigrant experience with genre. A lot of people have a way into that — whether you were raised by a nanny or your mother was one. There were so many entry points for people.”

She continued, “Luckily, as I developed this, there were questions arising about where the Black women in horror were hiding. So all of a sudden it seemed like there was an appetite for non-white male points of view in the horror realm. It was very serendipitous. In my case, I wanted to introduce African folklore to the American horror paradigm. I happen to straddle this line as an American kid raised by African parents.”

Check out the trailer below.

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