Overseas

Sung-a Yoon

IndieLisboa 2020 •

Documentary, 2019, 90′

In a Philippine school young women learn how to do domestic chores and to babysit. Their goal is to be hired and work abroad in their bosses’ households. But they learn more. They have to know how to deal with sexual, verbal and physical abuse. And how to resist being far from their loved ones. This is a film that addresses female condition, as well as modern slavery in a globalised world.

Overseas is an exceptional portrait of class, gender, human condition, in which we get to know the reality of some of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s). Sung-A Yoon manages to translate everything that Filipino women are subjected to when they agree to work overseas, going to the homes of people who they’ve only met at phone or skype interviews. To achieve this goal, they face rigorous training to prepare for separation from their families and against any aggression – physical and verbal – such is the certainty that this is a likely scenario. They must withstand a period of at least two years without giving up. These women will join the 10 million Filipinos overseas: another film would not describe this tale of modern slavery any better. Sung-A Yoon keeps the stoicism of these women intact, in a humanistic and delicate film, an unmissable surprise. (Mafalda Melo)