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Cincinnati World Cinema
presents the exclusive area screening...
THE CHAMBERMAID   (La camarista)
NYTCP     Variety
Thursday, Aug 15, 7 PM    Friday, Aug 16, 7 PM
Saturday, Aug 17, 4 PM

The Garfield Theatre   719 Race St, Cincinnati, 45202

One woman's moving story takes audiences inside a life – and a
culture – that's as bracingly unique as it is hauntingly relatable.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%


    Much of the world runs on the often-invisible faces of service workers, mostly women, who make our lives easier. Even when we "see" them, it's often with an air of implicit entitlement – "you're here to do something for me."
    In The Chambermaid, Evelia, Eve for short, is such a person – a chambermaid (camarista), euphemistically known as a housekeeper, laboring in a high-rise luxury hotel in Mexico City. But, the themes and the work itself are universal – in the US, the median wage is $9.21 an hour, in Mexico housekeeper pay is much lower.
    Eve (Gabriela Cartol) is a single mother who travels by bus two hours each way to and from work; she showers at the hotel because there is no running water in her neighborhood. Details about her life outside of work are revealed gradually, because director Lila Avilés' camera intentionally never leaves the hotel. All we see is the part of her life where she not only works but takes GED classes, eats lunch, pines for items left behind in the lost and found and calls home to check on her son.
    Invisibility is part of Eve's skill set. She passes in and out of mostly empty rooms like a ghost, turning chaos into order. Empty rooms sometimes offer refuge – time and space to think, to read "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," to look out at the city and dream.
    Eve's precarious existence mirrors the constrained lives of many people working in Latin America (and the U.S.), a subtext that is the real, political heart of the movie. As we witness her shy reserve in her work life, punctuated by the warm extrovert she becomes when on the phone with her four-year-old son or a friend, we understand that traversing the hierarchies imposed by the system – not making beds or cleaning toilets – is her real challenge. Hard work and concepts like "merit" have little to do with reality – she painfully discovers that it's not necessarily the most hard-working who get promoted.
    The Chambermaid is a deliberately paced and well-acted slice-of-life. Eve's dreams may seem modest – she would like to get assigned to a higher, more luxurious floor with better pay. She'd like to spend more time with her young son. She'd like to take home a red dress she found in one of the rooms and turned in to her supervisor.
    This is a story of idealism centered on a character stuck in perpetual limbo. But Eve's spirit rises above the constant rumble of the hotel's laundry and it's clear that the routine, long hours and disappointment will not stifle her yearning for a better life.


   Based on occupations, the Mexico City setting and the filmmakers' common nationality, The Chambermaid invites comparison to Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. When I first heard about The Chambermaid, I wondered if it was a me-too version of Cuarón's film. It is not. Although both films share some connections, they are completely different films with distinctions more significant than similarities.
   If you have not seen Roma, you should; ditto for The Chambermaid. For more insight, Filmuforia founder Meredith Taylor writes about both films, Roma here, and The Chambermaid here.

   Simply put, Roma is a nostalgic, touching, semi-autobiographical story about the nanny who raised director Alfonso Cuarón – in telenovela style – with ample doses of remembrance, adultery and melodrama, presented from his family's upper-middle-class perspective.
   Distributed by Netflix, Roma featured a famous director and huge marketing budget, and it virtually swept the various industry awards programs.

   The Chambermaid presents a lead character who is employed by a corporation rather than a family. It focuses more on the working environment – an impersonal glass and steel high-rise hotel where workers are like bees in a hive – and on the principal character's striving for self-actualization.
   With a very limited marketing budget (funded by the director, grants and a few low-profile sponsors), this film is the feature-length debut of a woman director who has previously made short documentaries. Its success suprised all involved and The Chambermaid deservedly captured eight significant awards and twenty nominations on the festival circuit.
   Coincidentally, the film was nominated for 10 Ariel Awards (Mexican Oscars), winning "Best First Work." The other categories were taken by Roma, but it is no embarrassment for a director's first feature film to lose to Cuarón's powerhouse pelicula.

   Both films feature breakout performances by their lead actresses, and equally important, both Roma and The Chambermaid show us why those in labor-intensive occupations, such as housekeeping, deserve our recognition and respect.
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THE CHAMBERMAID (La camarista), director Lila Avilés, Mexico, 2018, Not Rated. In Spanish with English subtitles. Discussion after film.
TRT 102 minutes,

Screenings start on time, we do not show 15-20 minutes of advertising before the film.
  • Thu 08/15 | 7 PM
  • Fri 08/16 | 7 PM
  • Sat 08/17 | 4 PM

Matinee seating at 3:30; evening seating at 6:30.
Click here for online tickets

TICKETS available online and by phone (859-957-3456)
   Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
   Student/ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door — must show valid ID upon arrival.
   Advance sale ends 3 hours before show time, tix thereafter available at the door.

the GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202,  near the corner of Race & Garfield Place.
Parking Options     Google Map     Drone View
Ample parking at affordable rates —  1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters.   
Other transport options include the Street Car, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, Bird, etc.
ADA ACCESS: The Garfield offers a direct indoor path from the front door to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using walkers, scooters or wheelchairs should call (859) 957-3456 at least 48 hours in advance to let us know your screening date and time.
    It couldn't be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.
    General Manager Randy Procter is offering CWC patrons a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol. You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event. Discount valid only for the date of ticket.
    Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert, or hang at the bar. Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm.
    Dinner reservations are recommended, call 513-954-8974. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.
QUESTIONS?   Please or call (859) 957 3456.

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8 Wins + 20 Nominations

The Ariel Awards 2019 (Mexican Oscars)Competition – 10 Nominations: (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Script, Best Supporting Actress, Best New Actress, Best New Actor, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best First Work)   Winner: Best First Work (Mejor Ópera Prima)

Toronto IFF 2018 – Discovery (World premiere)

San Sebastian IFF 2018 – New DirectorsCompetition (European premiere)

Busan IFF 2018 – Flash Forward

BFI London FF 2018 – First Feature Competition

La Orquidea IFF Cuenca 2018 – CompetitionWinner: Ópera Prima Iberoamericana, Best Direction for Lila Avilés and
Best Actress award for Gabriela Cartol

Morelia IFF 2018 (Mexico) – Winner: Premio Guerrero de la prensa ficcion and Ojo for Mexican Feature Film

Tofifest IFF 2018 (Poland) – Forward !

Rio de Janeiro IFF 2018 (Brazil)

Minsk IFF 2018 (Belarus) – Winner: Best Feature film Award and FIPRESCI Award

AFI Fest 2018 (USA) – New Auteurs

Stockhom IFF 2018 (Sweden) – Competition

FILMAR en America Latina 2018 (Switzerland) – Focus Sud

Festival International du Film de Marrakech 2018 (Morocco) – Winner: Jury Prize for Lila Avilés

Singapore IFF 2018 – Cinema Today

La Habana FF 2018 (Cuba) – Winner: Special Jury Prize

Palm Springs IFF 2019 (USA) – Cine CV Award : Honorable Mention

Hong Kong IFF 2019 – Latin American Cinema

Istanbul IFF 2019 (Turkey) – No More Flower Section

MOOOV Film Festival 2019 (Belgium) – Competition

Rencontres de Toulouse IFF 2019 (France) – Official Selection

San Francisco IFF 2019 (USA) – Winner: Best Feature film

Taipei IFF 2019 – International New Talent Competition

Transbaikalia FF 2019 (Russia) – CompetitionWinner: Best Director

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