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Cotton Mary

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Synopsis

Post-colonial India of 1950's, and Cotton Mary, (Madhur Jeffrey) an Anglo-Indian nurse befriends expatriate Lily Macintosh (Greta Scacchi) at the premature birth of her baby. Lily's husband John, (James Wilby) a BBC correspondent, is away working, and she is exhausted and emotional after the birth, and further devastated after realising she is unable to breast feed her child.

Mary provides a vital lifeline by taking the baby on daily trips to her crippled sister, Blossom, a wet nurse who provides milk for the infant.

The success that Mary has in arranging for the feeding of the baby makes her indispensable to Lily, who offers her a permanent position in her home as a Nanny working with her family. Mary's relationship to the baby and her burgeoning friendship with Lily gives her a unique position to operate.

Mary abuses this relationship, and deviously does everything she can to gain control of the house and achieve the prestige of being both associated with, and of extreme importance to a British family.

Cotton Mary offers a thought provoking insight into the ambitions of an Anglo-Indian woman trapped in a class-ridden, status conscious society.

Details

Year
2000
Type of film
Features
Running Time
126 mins
Format
35mm Fuji
Director
Ismail Merchant
Producer
Paul Bradley
Executive Producer
Paul Bradley
Editor
John Allen
Screenwriter
Alexandra Viets
Director of Photography
Pierre Lhomme
Sound
Giovanni Desimone
Music
Richard Robbins
Principal Cast
Greta Scacchi, Madhur Jaffrey, James Wilby

Genre

Production Company

Merchant Ivory Productions
Contact: Paul Bradley
46 Lexington St
London W1R 3LH
UK

T 020 7437 1200/ 020 7439 4335

miplondon@merchantivory.demon.co.uk

Sales
Company

Universal
Universal Studios
100 Universal Plaza
Universal City
CA 91608
USA