Each year, hundreds of thousands of Filipino women train to become domestic workers abroad. This quietly gripping and often startling documentary shows us how.
Dir-Scr Sung-A Yoon
Prod Isabelle Truc, Quentin Laurent
With English subtitles
‘Never cry in front of your employer. It shows weakness’, advises a teacher following a role-playing exercise in which an employer is verbally abusive. Learning to serve at a table, cleaning or caring for a baby, as well as reacting to various staged scenarios, are part of the training for women intending to take on domestic roles abroad. Through her watchful and empathetic gaze, director Sung-A Yoon reveals the personal stories, dreams and heartaches of these trainees, while the role-playing takes on both tragi-comic and cathartic dimensions, as the women brace themselves for the potentially tough times ahead. Filmed in beautiful static shots, this astute and richly layered observational documentary exposes the economic and familial pressures pushing Filipino women to accept jobs abroad, some of which resemble modern-day slavery.