Nanny is a new movie on Amazon that is a slow burn, but one worth seeing. It won’t be for everyone because of its pacing, but the story it tells is an important one. By mixing west African folklore with the mundane ritual of every day, this film challenges the fantasized American dream and replaces it with a more bleak reality.
Aisha moves to New York to work as a nanny for a rich family. She hopes to use the money from this job to bring her son to America so that he can have a chance at a better life. But life in America isn’t as easy as it seems. Aisha finds herself working long hours and constantly having to fight her employer for payment. The only relationship that she has with her family back home is through voicemails, videos, and photographs. The isolation she feels as she misses her family and home begin to take their toll on her psyche. It is a well-done narrative about an experience that is often overlooked.
The movie is great, but it is slow and quiet. The pacing and the silence help create a truly isolating experience, one that grows in intensity the deeper you get into the movie. Its clever use of folklore and fantastical imagery illustrates Aisha’s non-verbal struggle masterfully. Her emotions and longings come, breaking the barrier between reality and emotion.
But this movie doesn’t just explore the world through the experience of a Nanny, it challenges the American fairy tale. The film takes the isolating existence of immigrant life and contrasts it against a struggling working-class family. Her employer struggles in a male-dominated world while tolerating her husband’s insecurities. The movie’s focus is on Aisha, but the movie masterfully sprinkles enough bites of dysfunction to completely shatter American idealism.
This isn’t a story that is new to the American landscape, but it is an important one to tell. Nanny is well-acted, beautifully directed, and well-told. It might be a bit slow and a little too artsy for its own good, but it is one I need to recommend. You can stream it on Amazon, and I recommend that you at least give it a try.
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Image By Internet Movie Database, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71538162