Review: ‘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.

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

Nafkote Fikru, Meseret Bekele, Jamza Abdo, Hiruy Abdu, Ayelech Zewdie.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading