Sung-a Yoon, Belgium, France, 2019o
Thousands of Filipino women work as domestic workers throughout Asia. In the Philippines, they prepare themselves for this work abroad – for which they often leave children and family behind – in a training centre. They rehearse possible situations in role play. And they already discuss home sickness and the abuses that they will possibly endure. The documentary Overseas brings to light the question of domestic slavery in our globalized world.
Reenactments have become a familiar device in recent documentaries, often used to find a historical truth. In this trainee center for domestic workers, what we see are “pre-enactments” staged to prepare Filipina laborers for the truth to come: the abuse they will likely face in their deployment across the world. Yoon’s camera is at once firm and gentle, an embrace of its subjects.Julian Ross