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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 12, 2019
Blog post written by Jackie Marusiak, Documentary Studies and Production ‘21, FLEFF Intern.
Throughout FLEFF week, I experienced at least twelve films as well as discussions and forums, presentations and musical entertainment.
Now a full week since I saw The Chambermaid on Thursday night, the film has stuck with me in a way none of the other events have.
The Chambermaid, directed by Lila Aviles, centers on Eve, a 24 year old single mother working as a maid at a luxurious Mexico City hotel.
The plot simply follows Eve’s day to day life working inside the four walls of the hotel. Eve works hard and hopes to be promoted to the 42nd floor, and she eventually makes friends with one of her coworkers.
Occasionally, Eve speaks on the phone with her son’s caretaker. She takes a GED class to study for the test, before it gets cancelled by the hotel administration. She looks through hotel guests belongings as she cleans and after weeks of asking, claims a brilliant red dress that a guest left in their room.
The meditative, observational quality of the film entranced me. The framing of every shot reveals just as much information as the audience needs to understand the action. My curiosity piqued. Would I ever see beyond the elevator, the laundry room, the identical crips bedrooms of the hotel?
Finally, in the last shot of the film, Eve walks out of the glass revolving doors and leaves for her home.
In seeing The Chambermaid at FLEFF, I not only found a film I love, but also developed an interest in slow cinema.
As Dr. Zimmermann explained at the bloggers wrap party, festival programmers want to program films that sit with the viewer long after the screening. Otherwise, they just evaporate as you walk out of the theatre.
The Chambermaid definitely didn’t evaporate.
It’s still settling in.