Monday, May 2, 2011

Hot Docs 2011 - Maids and Bosses (with Three Walls)

Three Walls
By Zaheed Mawani, 2011

Screening before the mid-length feature Maids and Bosses, Three Walls is a terrific short about the history, design and society’s current feelings towards the modern-day cubicle. Director Mawani intercuts wonderful shots of factory workers building cubicle walls with the testimonies of several office workers and architectural designers. The film is a hilarious and poignant look at not just the physical structure, but office life in general.
4 1/2 out of 5

Maids and Bosses
By Abner Benaim, 2011

This year Hot Docs has a series entitled Workers of the World, a category that holds three of the films I will be seeing during the festival. Maids and Bosses is one of these films, which presents the dichotomy of servant and master in modern-day Panama. The film showcases both maid and house-owner, allowing each to tell their stories of either strife or success, with most of the sentiment belying the maids who have to undergo less than desirable treatment from their bosses. Many of these maids tell compellingly startling stories of absurd treatment, yet the film trivializes them with sometimes-unfitting music and strange and long cinematic diversions, such as a child making a mess in a toy room in slow-motion. I feel if the film followed two or three maids’ stories and used a more cinema verite approach, the film could have been more successful.
3 out of 5

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