Promise and Unrest

© Grossman / O'Brien
79 minutes / Colour / 2010
Directed by
Alan Grossman Áine O’Brien

Country of production Ireland

Separated from her daughter Gracelle at 7 months, Noemi Barredo left the Philippines for work in Malaysia before arriving in Ireland in 2000. Filmed over a five-year period, 'Promise and Unrest' is an ethnographic portrayal of a migrant woman performing caregiving and long-distance motherhood, while assuming the responsibility of providing for her extended family in the Philippines. Through the camera lens, the film observes the everyday contours of Noemi and Gracelle’s relationship, their subsequent reunion in Ireland through the `right to family reunification‘, and the beginnings of a domestic life together in the same country for the first time. The film’s narrative arc is shaped by the mother-daughter voiceover scripted by Noemi and Gracelle themselves, deliberately staged in two languages: the mother tongue Waray dialect spoken by Noemi in dialogue with an emerging adolescent and accented English – a new and acquired idiom that Gracelle is forced to learn in a new country.

Language and subtitles English and Original Language with English Subtitles

Region South-East Asia British-Irish Isles

Country Ireland Philippines

Keywords Family / Kinship Labour Migration Linguistics / Language