There are currently more than 330,000 migrant domestic workers living in Hong Kong, whose sacrifices to create a better future for their children left at home is too often overlooked. One production team hopes to change this by giving a voice to the “Unsung Heroes” of Hong Kong with their new documentary The Helper, but they need a little hand to make it happen.
At this point, we’re just over a week into the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to support the production of The Helper, a feature documentary exploring the stories of some of the migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, particularly focusing on the fact that 64% of them are mothers.
The maternal sacrifice element is a particularly compelling component of the story in my mind as a storyteller, because when you suggest the idea of leaving an infant, and being away from them for at least two years, to a parent anywhere else in the world, most find the concept unimaginable. But for the migrant domestic workers living here, that maternal sacrifice has become a necessary way of life in order to ensure a better future for their offspring.
And this sacrifice has parallels within Hong Kong itself, since the presence of affordable domestic workers in itself is what has allowed thousands of women within the city to return to the workplace after having children. Oftentimes staying at home to raise a child would be their preference, but in a city where the cost of living, let alone schooling and extra-curricular activities are astronomical, they too make this sacrifice in order to provide a better future for their offspring.
I think people rarely stop to consider the common bond this creates between employer and employee, between two women, both empowering themselves to maximise their earning potential. And because of this I believe that’s another particularly strong narrative thread of the film.
The choir that we’re featuring in the film, the “Unsung Heroes” sing the song I Wish I Could Kiss You Goodnight, dedicated to their children being put to bed by family members in their home countries, and yet even one of the women in our trailer explains how here in Hong Kong she is putting other people’s children to bed, which brings it back to the Hong Kong mother’s parallel sacrifice.
This concept of one woman’s sacrifice empowering another is something I’m very proud to be documenting, and something that I struggled long and hard to emphasise in the trailer for the film. As a female director, I’m passionate about telling women’s stories and about shining a light on the strength of our gender.
The production team behind The Helper hope to finish filming the documentary by the end of November, with the uplifting finale featuring the choir taking to the main stage at Clockenflap music festival to share their song with an audience of thousands. Can you help make this dream come true and make a pledge to support the campaign? Click below and find out how you can help make The Helper.
Read more! Find out more about the unsung heroes of Hong Kong in our recent article My Change Opinion on Having a Helper and explore our other Dream Week story Can Reality TV Makes Dreams Come True? Keep dreaming!
Subscribe to receive our weekly newsletter