TheSecondMother_byAlineArrudaAA__Brazilian Film TheSecondMother_byAlineArrudaAA__Brazilian Film TheSecondMother_byAlineArrudaAA__Brazilian Film TheSecondMother_byAlineArrudaAA__Brazilian Film TheSecondMother_byAlineArrudaAA__Brazilian Film
  • Brazil’s Official Entry to the Academy Awards®

    Best Foreign Language Film
  • Berlin International Film Festival

    Best Director, Audience Award, CICAE Award
  • Sundance Film Festival

    Special Jury Prize for Acting
  • Ljubljana International Film Festival

    Best Feature
  • Women Film Critics Circle

    Best Foreign Film
  • RiverRun International Film Festival

    Best Screenplay
  • Sao Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards

    Best Film, Best Actress
  • National Board of Review

    One of the Top Five Foreign Language Films
  • International Press Academy Satellite Awards

    Nominee - Best International Motion Picture
Spanish Film Club
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In Portuguese with English subtitles

With Regina Casé, Michel Joelsals, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles, and Lourenço Mutarelli


An excitingly fresh take on some classic themes and ideas, The Second Mother dissects with both impeccable precision and humor such matters as class differences and family. The film centers around Val, a hard- working live-in housekeeper in modern day Sao Paulo.

Val (stunning performed by Regina Casé) is perfectly content to take care of every one of her wealthy employers’ needs, from cooking and cleaning to being a surrogate mother to their teenage son, who she has raised since he was a toddler. But when Val’s estranged daughter Jessica suddenly shows up, the unspoken but intrinsic class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Jessica is smart, confident, and ambitious, and refuses to accept the upstairs/downstairs dynamic, testing relationships and loyalties and forcing everyone to reconsider what family really means.

Filmmaker may be available for a Q&A via Skype. Speaker fee: $300. Inquire at FILMCLUB@PRAGDA.COM


“A deeply moving examination of the essence of family.” – Claudia Puig, USA TODAY

“This densely-layered yet fast-paced drama…dissects with both chilling precision and humor such matters as class differences, real mothers vs. caretakers, and whether privilege and one’s own station are things that can be questioned or changed.” – Boyd Van Joeij, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“One of the most accomplished, sure-handed films of the [2015 Sundance Film] festival.” – Sydney Levin, INDIEWIRE

“Regina Casé shines in this warm character study. Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert spins a culturally specific tale with universal appeal.” – Geoff Berkshire, VARIETY

“Casé’s ace comic timing mines plenty of humor from... Muylaert’s tightly written and structured screenplay.” – Geoff Berkshire, VARIETY

“Easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year. It’s deeply satisfyingly to see a story so deceptively simple unfold with such thoughtful and thought provoking resonance.” – Sasha Stone, AWARDS DAILY

“A smart yet subtle portrait of the incalculable riches of a good relationship between parents and children.” – Monica Castillo, PASTE

“Regina Case delivers a stunning performance…in Anne Muylaert’s riveting drama.” – Boyd Van Joeij, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“It smartly uses its little moments of humiliation to open our eyes to a world of delicate, but deep, injustice. ” – Bilge Ebiri, VULTURE

“A magnificent drama about the charged relationship between household help and the household.” – Dana Stevens, SLATE

About the Director
Born in São Paulo in 1964, Anna Muylaert studied cinema at ECA/ USP where she directed many shorts, among them the awarded The Origin of Babies (winner best film São Paulo Film Festival). She has directed the feature films Durval Discos (2002), winner of the Jury, Critics and Audience awards for Best Film at Festival de Gramado; É Proibido Fumar (2008), winner of the Jury and Critics awards for Best Film at Festival de Brasilia; Collect Call (2013); and The Second Mother (2015) which won the Special Jury Award for Acting at Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Film in the Panorama Section at the Berlin Film Festival. The Second Mother was sold to over 30 countries. Don’t Call Me Son is her newest film.

Muylaert was a film reviewer at Estadão and Isto É. She was on the creation team of the children’s TV series Mundo da Lua and the hugely successful Castelo Ratimbum, at TV Cultura. She also collaborated on the scripts of the features O Ano em que Meus Pais saíram de Férias and Xingu by Cao Hamburger, Praia do Futuro by Karim Ainouz, and the TV series Filhos do Carnaval, Alice and Preamar, at HBO. In 2013 she directed the teleplay Alem de tudo me deixou mudo o violão and was the director the TV series As Canalhas.

Notes on Film

The Second Mother is a film about a set of social structures which have been in place in Brazilian culture since colonial times, and which continue to affect the country’s emotional architecture to this very day.

I started writing this script twenty years ago when I had my first child and realized how noble a job it is to bring up a child. At the same time, I also noticed the extent to which this task is devalued by Brazilian culture. More often than not, rather than looking after your own baby, you hired a live-in nanny and outsourced most of the work that was considered tedious or draining. What we sometimes forget is that those nannies very often leave their own children with someone else in order to fit into that scheme. This social paradox struck me as one of the most significant in Brazil because it’s always the children who lose out – both those of the employers and those of the nannies. There’s a major problem in the bedrock of our society rooted in how we raise our children. Can there really be an upbringing without affection? Can affection be bought? And, if so, at what price?

The Second Mother should be seen as both a social criticism, and as more. Its direct approach is neither to judge nor glamorize the characters and their actions, but merely to show the naked truth in all of its complexness.

The Second Mother reflects the recent history of the country as well as choices that I have made in my own life. I hope all the love and care that is in this film’s DNA can go further and maybe, in its own small way, help people find new and better places for themselves in the world.