“Roma” Wins Academy Awards, Shining a Spotlight on Domestic Workers

The Spanish-language film “Roma” received a record 10 Oscar nominations, winning three categories. The film, whose protagonist, Cleo, is an indigenous domestic worker, shined a spotlight on the racism against indigenous people present in Mexican society and the treatment of domestic workers. Cleo is played by Yalitza Aparicio, a teacher from Oaxaca making her film debut and who has made history as the first indigenous person from the Americas ever to be nominated for an Oscar. At the end of the awards ceremony, Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition spoke about the need for influential filmmakers such as Alfonso Cuarón to cast more Latino actors. Meanwhile, by honoring the “true heroines of the home,” Roma has also breathed new life into activism around domestic workers’ rights, according to Marcelina Bautista, the director of the Center for the Support and Training of Female Domestic Workers in Mexico City.

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