In her feature film directorial debut, Nikyatu Jusu takes us on an emotional thrill ride through her brilliant storytelling.
Inspired by her relationship with her mom, Jusu wrote the script for Sundance winner Nanny off and on over eight years, which she finished during the pandemic. Jusu said of the process, “I abandoned the project to work on other projects that I thought would be my features, but I kept coming back.”
Jusu’s mother’s story inspired Nanny, which follows Aisha (Anna Diop), a Senegalese mother that got hired as a nanny for a wealthy couple in New York City. As she awaits the arrival of her son she left behind in West Africa, a violent force threatens to upend the American dream she’s fighting hard to pursue.
Nanny explores many societal themes, including the horrors of the immigrant experience, motherhood, and the many nuances of wealth and power. Anna Diop is a powerful yet gentle presence as Aisha- she draws you in and captivates on screen. Sharing many parallels to her character, Anna pulled from her own experience to bring the story to life.
“My mother left Senegal in hopes of the American dream, in hopes that she could give me something better than what she had,” stated Diop on the similarities to her on-screen character. Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, and Rose Decker star alongside Diop.
Jusu is just getting started, coming off the success of Nanny at Sundance. Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Universal will work on her next project, an untitled horror film, which is sure to be a hit. But in the meantime, be sure to check out Nanny when it premieres in theaters on November 23rd.