Canada is a nation of immigrants, and it comes as no surprise that many Canadians share more than one homeland. For many Filipinos, family members living and working overseas is commonplace, and yet the strain of being apart is never easy. When your heart is torn between two places you love, how do you find your piece of paradise?
For five years, director Patrick Alcedo captures the everyday life of Norlyn, Em-Em, and Betsy as they navigate living and working in Toronto while dreaming of the day they can visit the Philippines again. Alcedo’s film follows Betsy as she juggles multiple different contract jobs each day, Em-Em as she cares for a Jewish family’s children while working on her papers, and Norlyn as she raises her moody teenage son on her own. Their struggles are real but the women are resilient, knowing that their faith, community and especially their sense of humour, will help them through the challenges.
A tribute to countless foreign domestic workers, A Piece of Paradise is a film for anyone who understands that home can be made in two places, and the yearning for it can cause a homesickness that may never be fully remedied.
Norlyn, Em-Em, Betsy, Darrell, Bimboy
Patrick Alcedo (in attendance)
Patrick Alcedo is an associate professor in the Department of Dance at York University, and is a recipient of the Government of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award. Currently, he is working on a short documentary film about the lives of underprivileged ballet dancers living in poor urban districts of Manila, who dream of dancing professionally abroad.
Free admission for screening, but guests must register for the event through Asian Institute at munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/event/23858/
This screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Rachel Silvey, the Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning.