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Sundance Award-Winning Thriller “Nanny” by Nikyatu Jusu Teases the American Dream

What happens when one mother abandons her child to care for the child of another?

The relationship between a Senegalese single mother (played by Anna Diop) who immigrates to the United States to earn enough money to bring her own son to America and the wealthy family for whom she works is explored in depth in the psychological thriller “Nanny” ( Michelle Monaghan ).

According to the official synopsis, Aisha (Diop), who is haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind, hopes that her new job will afford her the chance to bring him to the United States.

However, she becomes increasingly unsettled by the turbulent home life of the family she has just joined. As his arrival draws closer, a violent presence begins to invade both her thoughts and her reality, posing a threat to the idea of the American dream that she has been diligently stitching together.

“Nanny,” which was written and directed by Nikyatu Jusu, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the Dramatic Competition at Sundance earlier this year. The film will be distributed by Prime Video as part of their ongoing partnership with Blumhouse.

The film “Nanny” will make its debut in theatres on November 23, and it will begin streaming on Prime Video on December 16. Before that, it will make its debut at various fall festivals.


The director Jusu referred to her movie as “an existential, yet erotic, fever dream,” which she said eventually turned into a nightmare. “Nanny” is the first horror film to ever win the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for drama at Sundance, and Jesus is the second Black woman filmmaker in history to win the award. This achievement helped “Nanny” make history.

In an interview with IndieWire, Jusu described “Nanny” as a “work of love” that spanned more than nine years. Just revealed, “It is extremely specific to my culture and the story my mother grew up with.”

“I was aware that I did not wish to tell a story that adhered strictly to its genre. I wanted to combine elements of many genres into this novel about a household situation.

This is a common element in many of my favourite films. I wanted to mash up the feeling of being an immigrant in America with different genres. Many people already have a leg up on the competition, whether they were brought up by a nanny themselves or their mothers worked in the childcare industry. There were a lot of different ways for people to get in.”

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She went on to say, “Luckily, as I was developing this, questions were emerging about where the Black women who were hiding throughout the atrocity were.”

It seemed like all of a sudden there was a demand for horror stories told from the point of view of people who were not white males. It was an extremely fortunate coincidence.

In my particular scenario, I desired to integrate African folklore into the conventional American horror model. As a child born in the United States to African parents, I find myself on both sides of this divide.

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