“Ella La Telenovela” is a segment of a fictional Latin American-style soap opera, or telenovela, centered on a mysterious maid who never actually makes an appearance.
The actors are foreign workers who have legally or illegally come to Israel for work. Through dialogue and improvisational rehearsals, Kaplun combined their personal stories into a fictive narrative, which they in turn act out.
The class dynamics at play in this video are especially poignant considering the intertwined relationship with the maid, Ella. Her name translates in Hebrew to “goddess,” but is more commonly understood in Spanish as “her” or “she.”
The ironic undertone, of course, is that here the foreign workers are playing the role of the privileged bourgeoisie and they are the “she,” the “Other,” working menial, thankless jobs in service of Israel’s middle class population.”