Mexico's Roma wins Oscar for best foreign language film

The black-and-white Netflix film, directed and written by Alfonso Cuaron, marked Mexico's first Oscar victory in the category.
The black-and-white Netflix film, directed and written by Alfonso Cuaron, marked Mexico's first Oscar victory in the category.PHOTO: AFP
Writer-director Alfonso Cuaron (left) and Yalitza Aparicio on the set of Roma. The film marked Mexico's first Oscar victory in the category and has already picked up a slew of other awards this year.
Writer-director Alfonso Cuaron (left) and Yalitza Aparicio on the set of Roma. The film marked Mexico's first Oscar victory in the category and has already picked up a slew of other awards this year.PHOTO: NETFLIX

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Mexican film Roma, about a housekeeper in a middle-class family in the 1970s, won the Oscar on Sunday (Feb 24) for best foreign language film.

The black-and-white Netflix film, directed and written by Alfonso Cuaron, marked Mexico's first Oscar victory in the category and has already picked up a slew of other awards this year.

The film was inspired by Cuaron's childhood and a domestic worker who helped raise him. It features a largely unknown or amateur cast.

The title is taken from the Mexico City Colonia Roma neighbourhood where Cuaron grew up.

Roma stars Yalitza Aparicio as a domestic worker named Cleo who becomes pregnant as she cares for a family with four children as the parents are splitting up. Political turmoil in Mexico serves as a backdrop, with Cleo witnessing a 1971 massacre of protesters that marked the beginning of a "dirty war" against dissenters.

The film depicts her character speaking in the indigenous language of Mixtec.