New York City, NY — by Madeline Kane
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
In American pop culture, the immigrant experience is typically portrayed with shaky camera movements, dull and colorless settings, and people who are physically, emotionally and financially exhausted. These storytelling approaches tend to feel detached and speculative. A small movie coming out of the Sundance Film Festival, however, is offering a new way of portraying the immigrant experience.
In her feature film debut, “Nanny,” director-writer Nikyatu Jusu — a daughter of immigrants — offers a troubling and emotionally charged perspective on an experience that one in seven American residents can relate to: the struggle of settling into the United States as a foreigner.
Classified as a horror and psychological film, “Nanny” begins with a young woman lying in her bed at night, unable to fall asleep. Suddenly, water rushes into the bed and a large spider crawls onto her face before she screams in fear. The woman is a young nanny named Aisha (Anna Diop), an immigrant from Senegal who’s taking care of Rose (Rose Decker).
Rose’s mother, Amy (Michelle Monaghan), is an affluent Manhattan woman whose anxiety and control issues make it difficult for Aisha to do her job. As Amy’s husband Adam (Morgan Spector) is frequently absent, it is Aisha who adopts the primary responsibility for Rose’s care. Frequently demanding her to work overtime, Amy also fails to pay Aisha properly and acknowledges her own struggles.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.