Movies With Spirit will screen ‘The Second Mother’
The compelling comedy-drama “The Second Mother,” a thought-provoking story about 21st century servitude, will be screened as part of the Movies With Spirit monthly community film series on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 207 Albany Ave.
In the film, Val (played Regina Casé) takes a housemaid job working for a wealthy family in São Paulo, Brazil, 1,500 miles away from her northern Brazil home, to provide a better life for her daughter.
Val cooks, cleans, irons, shops for groceries, and prepares and serves meals for imperious, ostensibly liberalminded Dona Barbara (Karine Teles) and failed artist fortune inheritor Don Carlos (Lourenço Mutarelli). She has also cared for Barbara and Carlos’s teenage son, Fabinho (Michel Joelsas), since he was a young boy. Although Barbara is Fabinho’s biological mother, it’s Val who is the true maternal figure in his life.
By contrast, Val’s own daughter, Jéssica (Camila Márdila) — who remains in northern Brazil, cared for by relatives — harbors anger toward her mother, who she hasn’t seen in a decade. When Jéssica nears college age, she asks her mother if she can stay with her while she prepares for the University of São Paulo entrance exam. Val asks Barbara and Carlos, who give permission.
But the disconnect between nature and nurture, and the fault lines of class and social order, come into sharp relief when Jéssica arrives.
Unlike Val, Jéssica, a smart, confident 19-year-old around Fabinho’s age, has no regard for the opulent home’s unspoken house rules. While not rude, she treats Carlos as a social peer, indulges in Fabinho’s favorite ice cream and even takes a dip in the family’s private pool — a major affront to Val’s sense of propriety and to Barbara’s increasing disapproval. Jéssica also exposes to Val the myriad ways she is marginalized without even recognizing it.
At the same time, Carlos takes a liking to Jéssica.
The 2015 film is rated R and runs 110 minutes. The Kingston screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served. Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $5 a person.
The Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them. The films are screened in diverse houses of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties at 7 p.m. on the third Saturday every month. The series has no religious affiliation.
For more information, call Harrington at (845) 389-9201 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Details are also available at movieswithspirit.com and facebook.com/MoviesWithSpirit.