The Second Mother

The Second Mother ★★★½

"When they offer you something, they're just being polite. They know you're gonna say no."

Incredible and sensitive portrait of Brazil's high and low class families.

As a Brazilian I can vouch for this. It's common over there for higher class families to hire maids, sometimes even several, to do all chores and whatnot. Regina Casé (famous actress for comedy, but really standing out here, playing the perfect Brazilian maid) is Val, a mother from Recife who left her daughter there for work in Sao Paulo. After 10 years, the daughter comes to SP and starts living with her - and with "their bosses."

What The Second Mother captures flawlessly is this societal barrier between a worker and whoever's paying for their service. It's even crazier and more intense in the movie because they all live on the same house. That's common too, though. Of course, the employees live on the back.

A touching and funny film about family and knowing your worth.

Oh and by the way. A better translation of the original title is "when is she coming back?" referring to the son asking the maid about his mother. Someone's gotta raise the kids while mom's at work...

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