The maid who has become a star | Culture

The maid who has become a star | Culture

Most people have burned the importance of those who took care of them in their childhood, when they were most unprotected. At the same time, that mother or that nanny – traditionally, they – is a figure that, with the passage of time, is usually relegated to a more hidden plane. Above all, in the public sphere. One of the feats in Rome by Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico City, 1961) has consisted in that: in having brought to light, putting them in view of all, those bittersweet memories that so often cause modesty. His task of opening the door to the world of his memories has been an international success. Three were the interpreters of this trip to the director's childhood in Rome, the neighborhood in which he grew up: the actress Marina de Tavira, who plays the role of the mother, Sofía; the novelist Yalitza Aparicio, who plays the babysitter, Cleo, the real protagonist, and Nancy García, as Adela.

The last film of the director of And Your Mother Too (2001) or Gravity (2013) part of the idea of ​​honoring Liboria Libo Rodríguez, her caregiver in childhood. As a child of a family of the capital bourgeoisie, in his childhood Cuarón lived with a lullaby that resided in the house. Today, the number of domestic domestic workers has been reduced to the highest class. However, the advance in rights of this group, mostly of indigenous origin, has been tremendously slow. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Mexico forced these employees to register in social security – millions of them work without any type of protection. The filmmaker wanted to tell a very personal story that has ended up becoming a criticism of the situation of lack of protection, inequality and, to a certain extent, also of discrimination in Mexico.

From this germ, a new star with an uncertain future has been born. Yalitza Aparicio (Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, 1993) has become one of the main ambassadors of Rome, and also of Mexico, for her interpretation of Cleo, the reincarnation of Libo in fiction. Her naturalness, by immersing herself in the role of a deeply loving and infinitely generous person, has made her popular among the general public. Through its docile role maid, the relationships established between employers and employees are shown. Marina de Tavira (Mexico City, 1974) points out that one of the faults of her character, Mrs. Sofia, is that "she throws all the frustration she feels at her greatest support, at Cleo, as she is passing through such a moment hard and so terrible to break. " In the short distances, Aparicio retains the same aura that accompanies and illuminates the role of the domestic worker. Dressed in jeans and T-shirt, cross your hands and legs while waiting for questions. He has a smile always prepared and transmits tranquility. .

Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) prepares breakfast for the youngest of the brothers.
Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) prepares breakfast for the youngest of the brothers.

The young woman of Mixtec origin has become the champion of domestic workers, a group so forgotten in the Mexico of the seventies – which recreates the fiction of Cuarón – as in the current one. Also, in the voice of indigenismo relegated in a country torn by classist and racist biases. "Stereotypes do not matter. You can be part of something, if you really want it, "he assures during the interview in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City. It has been until the cover of the edition of Mexico and Latin America Vogue For his role.

He began his career as a teacher of early childhood education when he went to a casting for the film of a director who knew almost nothing. Cuarón noticed her, and her life has taken a radical turn since then: one day she touches promotion in Mexico City, another in Los Angeles and the next in New York. "It was wonderful to have this opportunity," says Aparicio. "Something for which I am very grateful is because I knew how to find the right words to not settle for what I am and, above all, because it helped me to have more security in me: it made me realize that I could do things that I never believed possible ", rivets with the same sweetness and integrity of Cleo.

De Tavira, Aparicio and García lend themselves to describing their respective characters: Mrs. Sofia, mother of four children in separation proceedings, and the household employees Cleo and Adela. "One of the greatest virtues of Sofia is the push she has to move the children forward and the way she tries to always give them the best face, even though she is suffering," says the well-known Mexican actress De Tavira (Mexico City) , 1974). "Cleo's virtue is to be so loving and attentive to the family and always be an amazing person," she says. Precisely, that character has earned criticism that see a certain class condescension, where others see humanism and sincere esteem, in the director's vision of the character. The actresses seem to be delighted with the feminist discourse of the film.

Brave women

All three agree that in 40 years there have been changes in the role of women in Mexican society, but that there is still a long way to go. "In the film," Garcia points out, "the issue that women do not dare, that something has to happen so that they admire and value themselves and say: 'I can,' and I think This has been changing and women are recognizing that you can educate your children without a father figure. "

Beyond if the steps have been giant or dwarf in a country where 3,430 women were murdered last year, this sunny day they promote Rome They are satisfied with the work: they are legitimate representatives of a film produced by Netflix, winner of the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival and Oscar candidate, which has also triumphed in the few halls that have been released. Cuarón came to say about the film that was "his lifeline." "95% of the sequences were born from my memory", assured the director. Today they are the ones who answer. What is the movie about? "Of brave women", García claims. "Of life itself," says Aparicio sweetly. "From the scars of childhood", says De Tavira.


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