The Second Mother | Chicago Reader
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The Second Mother

The Second Mother

If you’ve seen Sebastian Silva’s acclaimed Chilean feature The Maid (2009), you might find The Second Mother a little familiar. Like The Maid, this Brazilian feature is a pointed comedy of manners about a domestic worker who’s lived with an upper-class family for so long that she’s come to define herself through them. As in The Maid, a newcomer to the household threatens the veteran’s stable position; the maid responds anxiously at first but ends up rediscovering her identity and growing from the experience. Writer-director Anna Muylaert even advances a perspective reminiscent of Silva’s, sympathizing with her characters but noting how ingrained class prejudices shape their behavior. Her visual style is more rigorous than Silva’s, though; for much of the film the camera never moves, emphasizing the meticulous, even suffocating mise-en-scene. Sometimes the luxurious settings seem like a prison, which is a fitting visual metaphor for the trapped heroine. Continue reading >>



  • Anna Muylaert


  • Regina Casé
  • Michel Joelsas
  • Lourenço Mutarelli
  • Karine Teles
  • Camila Márdila


  • Claudia Büschel
  • Caio Gullane
  • Fabiano Gullane
  • Débora Ivanov
  • Gabriel Lacerda
  • Anna Muylaert

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