The following media release was shared Tuesday afternoon by the National Domestic Workers Alliance:
LOS ANGELES — Last night, the Los Angeles premiere of Alfonso Cuarón’s latest and most intimate film Roma paid tribute to millions of domestic workers —nannies, house cleaners, care workers— across the country. The premiere comes on the heels of Roma’s three Golden Globe nominations.
Set in the 1970’s, the film chronicles the life of Cleo, played by debut actress Yalitza Aparicio, whose character is an indigenous woman working as a live-in nanny for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. As the key protagonist in the film and one of few multi-dimensional representations of domestic workers on-screen, Cleo opens up her world, a rarely explored, complex set of experiences and relationships among women and between domestic workers and the families they work for.
At the premiere, Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, who was introduced on stage by Cuarón, spoke about the power of story:
“At the NDWA, our mission is to help change the narrative about domestic workers, women like Cleo, who is the heart of this film. There are more than 2 million nannies, housecleaners and home care workers in the United States and approximately 100 million globally. They do the work that makes everything else possible in our lives, caring for what matters most —our children, our parents, our homes— and yet the work and the women who do it remain largely invisible, undervalued, and highly vulnerable. There are no standards, few protections or rights, and the work is hardly even recognized as real work.
Our movement is to bring to life the stories of these women, to elevate their journeys, dreams and struggles as whole human beings in the hope that we may truly see this work for its full worth, and to change how we value it in our culture.
But it took master storyteller Alfonso Cuarón to bring this story to the entire world with the grace, humanity and complexity it deserves. Cleo’s world is a world we rarely see on the big screen, one held together by the heroism and strength of women. And while it’s cinema, it’s an urgent and important invitation to explore our own stories, to truly see the people who make our lives possible, and to imagine together a world where we honor those relationships anew.”