MONEY AND HONEY
Directed by Jasmine Lee Ching-Hui
Beneath the great presence of Taipei’s skyline, the symbolic triumph of the nation’s wealth and modernization, is a quaint five-story nursing home full of immigrant workers whose aspiration for wealth has yet to be fulfilled. Spanning 12 years, MONEY AND HONEY follows the stories of Filipina caretakers driven overseas for work, and their indomitable will to bring better opportunities to their families at home while working at a nursing home in Taiwan. Out of the political and economic contexts of the Philippines and Taiwan, director Jasmine Lee Ching-Hui captures in assured, intimate terms deep insight into the lives of these various Filipina workers and their physical and emotional sacrifice.
And yet, while it is easy to simply focus on the bleak circumstances these individual women might find themselves in, Lee successfully encompasses the struggles as well as the joviality and creativity of the women’s livelihoods. From the enduring relationships they form with their patients and co-workers (as well as the director, whose grandmother is the impetus for the documentary), to the struggles of living for years away from their families, MONEY AND HONEY is both a troubled and hopeful film that captures the strength of women migrant workers enduring to live the modern dream of love and prosperity. –Tracie Yang