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Nanny – TIFF 2022

Nanny

Nanny – TIFF 2022

Release Date: December 16, 2022
Synopsis:
Immigrant nanny Aisha, piecing together a new life in New York City while caring for the child of an Upper East Side family, is forced to confront a concealed truth that threatens to shatter her precarious American Dream.

A Senegalese caregiver has water-bound nightmares involving her child in . Aisha () is a recent immigrant from Senegal who takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy New York couple, Amy () and Adam (). Taking care of the couple's young daughter Rose (Rose Decker), Aisha hopes to earn enough money to bring her son Lamine (Jahleel Kamara), to America. However, Aisha soon has nightmares involving water and begins to fear the worst.

Nanny is a supernatural horror film from writer/director Nikyatu Jusu, which incorporates quite a bit of the African folklore of Mami Wata water spirits in this story of a Senegalese immigrant trying to live the American dream. Things look up for Aisha as she gets a high-end caregiver job and enters into a relationship with Malik (), the doorman at her boss' building. However, Aisha soon finds herself plagued by nightmares and is warned by Malik's grandmother Kathleen () that these dreams might be the spirits trying to leave a message.

Despite the supernatural element of the film, it can almost be argued that the true horror of Nanny is the passive-aggressive way Aisha is mistreated during her caregiver job, often being asked to work overnight shifts, despite the fact Aisha hasn't been getting paid. Michelle Monaghan shines in her relatively small role as an overworked mother. The latter is not only oblivious to the hard work Aisha does taking care of Rose but reveals herself to be a significant helicopter parent, freaking out at the slightest thing, such as the Senegalese food Aisha has been cooking for Rose.

Nanny also does a solid job of incorporating African folklore into the film's horror, whether trickster spider Anansi or the mermaid-like Mami Wata, the latter of whom frequently appear to Aisha. The reasoning for the mess of Nanny turns out to be heartbreaking, as the film is a metaphor for the disillusion of the American dream.

Trailer for Nanny – TIFF 2022

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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