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Alfonso Cuarón's 'Roma' is Glorious, Tender Filmmaking


By Stephanie Zacharek

August 30, 2018


At the beginning of Alfonso Cuarón’s extraordinary film-as-remembrance Roma—playing in competition here at the Venice Film Festival—we meet Cleo, a young woman of Mixteca heritage who works as a servant and sort-of nanny for a middle-class family in Mexico City, circa 1970. In this setting, Cleo, played by first-time actor Yalitza Aparicio, is half visible and half not: In some ways, she’s part of the family. The kids—there are four—clamor to be near her when she sits down with them to watch TV. When the mother, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), asks Cleo to do something, her manner is reserved but polite. The father, a busy doctor who’s mostly absent, from the family and from the movie, complains, off-camera, about her housekeeping. “There’s dog s–t everywhere,” he fumes, and he’s not wrong. We’ve already noted that the family pet freely relieves himself in the house’s small attached garage, and as Doctor Dad eases his enormous Ford Galaxy into the cramped space, the car’s wheels squish the little piles flat, as if to grind them right into the tile floor. Read more

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Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

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