The Nanny

Crude DV opus concerns the exploitation of an Ethiopian woman by her relatives in the States. Set and shot in the U.S. but with all the actors speaking Amharic, pic is clearly destined for export. Uncomfortably close lensing, stop-and-go line readings and unmodulated character development are unlikely to detain it long on American shores.

With:
With: Nafkote Fikru, Meseret Bekele, Jamza Abdo, Hiruy Abdu, Ayelech Zewdie.

Crude DV opus “The Nanny” concerns the exploitation of a beautiful Ethiopian woman by her relatives in the States. Set and shot in the U.S. but with all the actors speaking Amharic (save for a few ad-libbed English expletives on the side), pic is clearly destined for export. Pic’s uncomfortably close video lensing, stop-and-go line readings and unmodulated character development are unlikely to detain it long on American shores.

Mimi (Nafkote Fikru) comes to America to work as a nanny for her established relatives in Washington, D.C. The spoiled lady of the house treats her like dirt while hubby screws her in exchange for help with immigration. Virtually everyone Mimi comes into contact with is either driven by selfish motives or paranoid about the motives of others, the sole exception being a woman dying of a brain tumor. Pic’s odd emphases and attenuated timing are such that helmer Fikru lavishes equal attention on closeups of shoes, alarm clocks or whiskey glasses as on closeups of his actors’ faces. Daniel Sebsebe’s soulful jazz score helps somewhat to fill in the blanks.

The Nanny

Ethiopia

Production: A Deemo production. Produced, directed, written by Nikodimos Fikru.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Fikru; editor, Chizoma Olumba; music, Daniel Sebsebe. Reviewed on videocassette at African Diaspora Film Festival, New York, Dec. 14, 2003. Amharic, English dialogue. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: With: Nafkote Fikru, Meseret Bekele, Jamza Abdo, Hiruy Abdu, Ayelech Zewdie.

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