Now that a Venice Film Festival world premiere has been set for Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA, the Oscar-winning director has tweeted a first look tease at what is billed as his most personal work yet. Written by Cuaron and produced by his Esperanto with Participant Media, the movie was confirmed today for an in competition Lido berth five years after Gravity blasted off at the festival — and a few months after ROMA was not included in the Cannes lineup owing to a dispute between the fest and Netflix. The movie is also screening as the New York Film Festival’s Centerpiece in October.
On his Twitter feed today, the director wrote, “There are periods in history that scar societies and moments in life that transform us as individuals” with a video of water washing over tiles (see it below).
ROMA is a Netflix release, one of six titles from the streamer that is bowing in Venice, and will launch globally — and in theaters, putting it on the awards-season path — later this year.
The film chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City. Cuaron, inspired by the women from his childhood, delivers an ode to the matriarchy that shaped his world.
A vivid portrayal of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil, ROMA follows a young domestic worker Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) from Mixteco heritage descent and her co-worker Adela (Nancy García García), also Mixteca, who work for a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma. Mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), copes with the extended absence of her husband, Cleo faces her own devastating news that threatens to distract her from caring for Sofia’s children, whom she loves as her own. While trying to construct a new sense of love and solidarity in a context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined, Cleo and Sofia quietly wrestle with changes infiltrating the family home in a country facing confrontation between a government-backed militia and student demonstrators.
The black-and-white shot story was originally offered a slot at Cannes, but due to the arcane window rules in France, Netflix pulled its titles from consideration there.