Receiving 10 nominations for the 91st Academy Awards, Alfonso Cuaron’s cinematic reflection of a troubled childhood not only has broken barriers between typical film plots, but also opens a new door for underrepresented cultural groups. Winning three more Oscars in his directing career, Cuaron focuses this thought provoking family drama through Cleo, an indigenous domestic worker (of Oaxacan-Zapotec descent) who goes through many problems while working for a family who’s relationship grows apart.
With great effort from the cast and crew, the film won in three categories within the most important for the Oscars: foreign language film, cinematography, and directing.
Cuaron’s view towards this year’s awards show was targeting the actors in their selected nominated films and how they make a difference based on the roles they partake, “as artists, our job is to look where others don’t.” Roma is also a personal journey for the director himself going back to a metropolitan Mexico City in the 1970s, an enclave in which he grew up. In which comes the distant memory of the housekeeper who raised and cared for him while dealing with problems of her own.
Watching the film is something else that even I felt I could relate too, and so did my mother. Yalitza Aparicio, the film’s leading actress represents the Academy putting a step towards diversity based on the selection of movies they choose. Having an indigenous individual make it to the ranks of other well known actresses also reminds other aspiring young females who are in that sector that they can make anything they put their mind to. Even if it seems impossible.