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By Michael McNeely | February 16, 2021

When Dea is fired, rage began to fill me from within. How dare they? She did nothing wrong! It is just the way it is. Domestic staff’s ability to thrive in places like Hong Kong is tied to their ability to gain visas, connected with a specific employer. So if you are fired, you are essentially no longer allowed to stay in the country. This alone probably causes the majority of human rights violations that occur to such workers.

“…an excellent result of feeling empowered to tell one’s story.”

Dea, although well-intentioned, could use more characterization of the older Italian man that Dea meets. The scenes with him at the end go by too quickly for a film that has, up to that point, been methodical at establishing what is happening. The appearance of the butcher knife was far too abrupt and not necessarily reflective of Dea’s state of mind at that time. However, I cannot argue with 20 women that have life experience with the subject matter at hand, so I mostly defer to their better judgment. I would simply foreground those events a bit more because Dea has had more experiences with the older man than we are privy to, and it may be helpful for us to learn more as outside viewers about the situation. While the story curbs from reality quite a bit, it is a fictional narrative (though only just), so strengthening these elements would’ve kept me invested the whole time, as opposed to making me question what was happening.

All in all, a movie made by committee need not necessarily be disparate. They can reflect a collective vision to empower the creators and others who are impacted by the stories and real-life situations. I would appreciate this approach to filmmaking becoming more mainstream and help illuminate many of our social ills. Many of us feel like our stories are not worth telling, but that is how we are disadvantaged and marginalized as a result. Dea is an excellent result of feeling empowered to tell one’s story.

Dea (2021)

Directed: Alberto Gerosa

Written: Adrani, Ahar, Alyssa, Ana, Anik, Arista, Astri, Astutik, Avi, Dachyta, Dee, Dewi

Starring: Dea Panendra, Bruno Zanin, Mas Gentur, Mas Akri, Icy Tsui, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Dea Image

"…help[s] illuminate many of our social ills."

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