Every day 12 planes leave the Philippines carrying migrant workers, most of them women, destined to care for other people’s families all over the world. Once they arrive, hidden away in other people’s homes, they are unprotected by the law.
For her screenplay, Esy Casey spoke to many Filipino women who have been trafficked in this way. She punctuates their stories with devotional dances around the Santo Niño statue, gifted to the islands in 1521 by the explorer Magellan, who went on to launch a worldwide trade in silk and porcelain. These days, the product in demand is the care that the women workers provide.
Inventively, the split-screen video and audio shows two worlds in two languages. The dialogue, spoken simultaneously in Cebuano and English, is split between the right and left speakers. One of the women says she too feels divided in two: between a person made of flesh and one made of pixels—her own children back at home see her only as an image on the phone. This visually ingenious film allows you to make connections between places, times and cultures, between modern slavery and neocolonialism.