In the acclaimed Brazilian film The Second Mother, class tensions play out in everyday activities, from eating the master’s ice cream to swimming in his pool.
Val (Regina Casé) is a dutiful housekeeper—so dutiful that she’s practically raised her boss’s son as her own, while her real daughter grows up far away, a voice on the other end of a phone call. She dotes on her masters warmly (she buys the lady of the house a set of espresso cups for her birthday) and seems blind to their disrespect for her (when the lady refuses to put the espresso set out for company, Val says, “But you said to save them for a special occasion!”). This all changes when her daughter, Jéssica (Camila Márdila) comes to stay with the family in São Paulo, shocking her mother by asserting herself in front of her hosts.
The movie (titled Que Horas Ela Volta? in its home country) was written and directed Anna Muylaert; it won a Special Jury Prize for Acting for its two heroines at the Sundance Film Festival, and the audience award at the Berlin Film Festival. Watch this exclusive clip and catch the film in theaters Aug. 28.