Filmmakers Alan Grossman and Aine O’Brien spent five years following the lives of Noemi Barredo and her daughter Gracelle in an odyssey that stretched from the Philippines to Ireland. Noemi was among the thousands of Filipinas that left their country in order to secure overseas work that would (in concept) help support their families.
Noemi left her country when Gracelle was seven months old and relocated to Dublin, where she found work as a caregiver to infirmed elderly patients. Gracelle barely knew her mother while growing up, except for Noemi’s annual visits home. For her part, Noemi never truly assimilated into Dublin’s society – she is mostly seen with her fellow Filipinas or in caregiver training with other immigrant women. Gracelle later relocates to Dublin, but soon becomes uncomfortable living with her mother in a cramped apartment. Dublin’s expensive cost of living and Irish work permit policies create a strain on mother and daughter.
Noemi and Gracelle narrate their life stories and they are provided with screenwriting credit – and while neither woman qualifies as being an accomplished raconteur, one can easily empathize with the emotional difficulties they experience. The film also provides an interesting view into contemporary Dublin, where a multiracial population has significantly redefined the city’s demographics and work force.