The Governess

The Governess is a 1998 British period drama film written and directed by Sandra Goldbacher. The screenplay focuses on a young Jewish woman of Sephardic background, who reinvents herself as a gentile governess when she is forced to find work to support her family.

Mary, welleducated and unusually curious in an era when a womans primary focus is keeping house and attending to the needs of her family, surprises Charles with the depth of her interest and ability and becomes his assistant. He is delighted to find a kindred spirit in his isolation, and the admiration she feels soon turns to passion that he reciprocates. While secretly observing Passover in her room, she spills salt water onto one of Charles prints. The next morning she rushes to the laboratory to tell Charles, and their excitement spills over into making love for the first time. But he becomes increasingly consumed with the race to publish their new process, while she is captivated by the beauty of the photographs they create.Complications ensue when the Cavendishs son Henry returns home after being expelled from Oxford University for smoking opium and being caught with a prostitute, and he becomes obsessed with Mary. While searching through her belongings, he uncovers evidence of her true background, and although he confesses to her he knows about her past, he promises to keep it secret. But eventually Henry tells Charles that he is in love with Mary, and Charles ridicules his affection and disparagingly remarks that Mary is practically a demimondaine, refusing his consent and further alienating his son. ........

Source: Wikipedia