The Mexican film The Chambermaid / La camarista, the debut feature by director Lila Avilés, was the winner of the Jury Prize, the second top award, at the 17th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, it was announced at the festival’s closing ceremony this evening.
Avilés’ film follows Eve, a young chambermaid working in one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico City, an exclusive glass tower inhabited by wealthy guests whose lives she imagines by their belongings left behind and absence. Long, laborious shifts prevent Eve from caring for her child as she helps guests with their own children, but she believes she can better her situation after she’s promoted to work at executive-level suites, for which she accepts a grueling schedule. In keeping with desire to improve her lot, she also enrolls in the hotel’s adult education program.
An incipient friendship with her coworker and an awkward, silent flirtation with a window-washer prod her toward much needed bravery. When things don’t result as planned, Eve transforms her solitary explorations and newfound courage into the strength to face a life outside the high-class prison that’s entrapped her, breaking rules and discovering herself.
In her acceptance speech Avilés said: “I love Patti Smith. She says that she always follows a romantic path and that guide is her light. I hope I am that kind of woman. You have everything here in Marrakech – the mountains, the desert, the people, the handmade things. Everything.”
The 17th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival took place November 30 - December 8 in Morocco.