MAIDS AND MADAMS (1986) Channel 4
Writer/ Director/ Producer: Mira Hamermesh
Shot in South Africa, this subtly understated film examines the tragedy of apartheid through the emotional relationship between the black household worker and her white employer. This domestic scenario is a microcosm of the racial issues that divide the country. Apartheid begins at home, where white -aproned black maids tend the children of their white madams while their own children stay neglected, jealous and without prospects in crumbling, remote townships.
The oppression of blacks in South Africa has been explored from maty angles: Marxist class struggle, colonial racism and, of course, human rights, MAIDS AND MADAMS links the wider issue of racism to that of sexism. Mira Hamermesh applied to the South African embassy for a wok permit but was refused she decided to travel there as a tourist and make the film secretly using local film crews.