Lila Avilés × 2
Screening Dates
  • February 2 (Friday) 8:35
  • February 5 (Monday) 6:30
  • February 13 (Tuesday) 8:35

Quietly stunning … At times it achieves the strangeness and intensity of science fiction … Avilés approaches Eve’s inner life with frank and tactful sympathy, and depicts her circumstances with unsentimental clarity … After you’ve seen it, the world looks different.”

A.O. Scott, The New York Times

The wide aspect ratio of Lila Avilés’s debut feature is an ideal frame for the single panoramic floor of Mexico City’s Hotel Presidente Intercontinental assigned to protagonist Eve (Gabriela Cartol). Save for the vertical shafts of the hotel’s service elevators and its underground maintenance areas, Avilés’s film sticks to Eve’s room-by-room survey as a chambermaid, where she is expected to be an invisible witness to the imprints left by guests. Though the film’s title might bring Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid to mind, Avilés has cited the photoconceptualist Sophie Calle’s L’Hôtel as a model, one of anthropological patterns and wry observation. In this world designed for anonymity, the film confidently keys us into the personal marks in Eve’s work, whether her navigation of requests—for overtime labour, money, and the fulfillment of bourgeois demands—or the subtle ways she creates time for herself and her thoughts within a constant choreography of routines.

In Spanish with English subtitles

Avilés unlocks a world full of hope and disappointment … It may feel less epic in scale, but The Chambermaid is just as emotionally potent and perhaps even more successful than [Cuarón’s Roma].”

Monica Castillo,

Coolly executed … Stylized as it is, with a hyper-deadpan comic tone, The Chambermaid nevertheless has a certain ring of documentary truth.”

Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound