room-without-a-view-2021-corelia-recensione

ROOM WITHOUT A VIEW

      No Comments on ROOM WITHOUT A VIEW

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Roser Corella

grade: 7

Room without a View is a painful, multifaceted, colourful documentary. The colours of the protagonists, their clothes, their vibrant and pulsating cultures contrast sharply with the barren rooms, the white corridors of their lodgings, the ‘lightless’ life they are forced to live. At the Diagonale’22.

Lonely women

There is a particular reality in Lebanon that few people know about. A reality in which the human being is not considered as such and, consequently, is exploited in an often brutal way, without any consideration for his or her needs and health. These are the conditions in which numerous female workers from Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Philippines live. They have come to Lebanon in order to work as maids for rich middle-class families. Director Roser Corella, then, tells us about them and their unfortunate lives in her documentary Room without a View, premiered at the Diagonale’22.

The screen is totally black. A voice speaks on the phone and asks for some more information about the domestic workers provided by an agency. The clauses of their contracts stipulate more than eight working hours per day, only fifteen days off per year and personal accommodation in a dark room, often with no view to the outside. The testimonies of each of them later speak for themselves. Dark and shabby rooms contrast with elegant and impeccably furnished houses. At the same time, young women from different countries of the world confide in front of the camera, recount some of their misadventures and often cry.

In Room without a View, director Roser Corella has given a voice to each of them, also devoting special attention to those who believe that such a reality is acceptable or those who, knowing all the dramatic consequences that it can cause, speak out against those who made it possible.

Room without a View is a painful, multifaceted, colourful documentary. The colours of the protagonists, their clothes, their so vibrant and pulsating cultures contrast sharply with the barren environments, the white corridors of their lodgings, the ‘lightless’ life they are forced to live. To this end, Roser Corella has opted for a decidedly classical directorial approach, renouncing any possible virtuosity and choosing as her only ‘quirk’ the depiction of elegant bourgeois environments that are gradually furnished with miniature furniture.

A seemingly simple directorial approach that, however, also knows how to be sharp, especially towards the employers of the protagonists. When we see a group of women talking about their maids and complaining about how their tasks are not always carried out impeccably, we cannot help but think of some of the documentaries by the great Ulrich Seidl. Here too, as in the works of the Viennese director, those who have ‘the upper hand’ are often ridiculed with all their beliefs and the illusion of being ‘superior’. Here again, the viewer is particularly shocked by certain dynamics. Dynamics that, however, seem destined to end, although it is not yet known how or when. The desire of young women to leave their country and receive an education has, therefore, the same effect as a pleasant breath of fresh air.

Original title: Room without a View
Directed by: Roser Corella
Country/year: Austria, Germany / 2021
Running time: 73’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Roser Corella
Cinematography: Roser Corella, Alfonso Moral
Produced by: moving mountains films

Info: the page of Room without a View on the website of the Diagonale; the page of Room without a View on iMDb