Nanny Sundance 36701

Nanny is a story of survival, grief, and isolation beautifully told by writer/director Nikyatu Jusu in her feature-length debut. Aisha (Anna Diop) is a Senegalese immigrant working for an upper-middle-class white family as a nanny. What begins as a promising way to establish a life in N.Y.C. and bring her young son Lamine (Jahleel Kamara) over from Senegal quickly spirals out of control for Aisha. The microaggressions begin piling up, threatening the agency she has over her own life – a common experience for Black women in America

As her working relationship with Amy (Michelle Monaghan) deteriorates, Aisha is overwhelmed with cryptic visions of Mami Wata, an African water spirit who personifies polar opposites, such as beauty and danger. African folklore used in horror is nothing new, but in the hands of a Black woman writer/director of West African Descent, this imagery goes much deeper and is more effective than what we usually see on screen. Jusu’s visual representation of straddling two worlds is also very effective. For example, when Aisha is with her own friends and family, she is surrounded by vibrant colors and warm lighting, but the moment she sets foot into her employer's home, the vibes are cold, stark, and harsh. With a story that intertwines a mother’s intuition and ancient folklore, Nanny is a film that won’t be easy to shake. -Kahmeela Adams


Written and Directed by Nikyatu Jusu

Out December 16th on Prime Video




This article originally appeared in BUST's Winter 2022-2023 print edition. Subscribe today!