MAHER ABI SAMRA - A MAID FOR EACH (2016) TBC!
Something really interesting seems to be emerging in the world of documentary. In selecting films for Otherfield this year, many of the most exciting and challenging works we saw came from the Middle East, and arguably none was more perfectly realised than A Maid For Each.
In a couple of rooms above a corner shop in downtown Beirut, there is an employment agency which specialises in the trafficking of women from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and the Philippines to work as domestic servants in Lebanon. Shot almost entirely in the agency front office, we witness the deals being struck, learn of the global economics behind the industry, and deduce everything there is to know about the commodification of the women being bought and sold (who remain hidden throughout in a back room). A Maid For Each is a stunning genre re-defining film, which turns away from the hand-held conventions of the Western documentary tradition. It is shocking, contemplative, deeply and cooly political, and it regularly delivers shots of breathtaking beauty, which speak of an extraordinary collaboration between the Lebanese Maher Abi Samra and his virtuoso cinematographer, the great Claire Mathon.
Maher Abi Samra interview: http://www.euromedaudiovisuel.net/p.aspx?t=interviews&mid=91&l=en&did=2049