Across Latin America, the position of nannies is a unique phenomenon, where many become dependable maternal figure to their young charges. Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert scrutinizes the relationship that many families have with their domestic help and the contradictions that can emerge.

The Second Mother follows a woman who has become indispensable to her employers, damaging the relationship with her own daughter in the process. This is the case with Val, a São Paolo nanny/housekeeper whose close relationship with Fabinho conflicts with the behavior of the young man’s affluent and critical parents, who treat Val like a second-class citizen. The family is disrupted when Val’s estranged and accomplished daughter Jéssica visits unexpectedly. A delicate mixture of drama and humor create a compelling exploration of the unusual dynamics that occur when different layers of Brazilian economic and social classes are joined together in the family home.

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Anna Muylaert
Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time
112 minutes
DCP, Color