South China Morning Post: Film review of ‘The Helper’ – Hong Kong’s foreign domestic workers’ lives and dreams revealed in heartfelt documentary
Discovery magazine: Vocal Minority: The domestic helpers who performed at Clockenflap
The Hollywood Reporter: Hong Kong documentary ‘The Helper’ set for international release
“The film, an intimate portrait of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, is released globally July 24.
…In Hong Kong, The Helper had a sellout 11-week theatrical run, a rarity for locally made documentaries”
Medium (Hong Kong): What do foreign domestic helpers mean to you? (article in Cantonese)
#Legend: Joanna Bowers: The director behind Hong Kong film The Helper
“We wanted to make something very different, something positive. Instead of focusing on abuse or negative aspects of their lives – which do exist – we decided to focus on strength and inspiration,” Bowers tells me.
As a matter of fact, while there is a growing abundance of work around the issue of domestic workers in Hong Kong, not many focus on motherhood or on personal empowerment. By telling the stories of the migrant workers, “we tried to show how they positively impacted society, allowing many local women to enter the workforce but most of all, we tried to make a film that could resonate with audiences globally,” Bowers says.
Le Monde: A Hongkong, un film montre le vrai visage des domestiques
La réalisatrice britannique Joanna Bowers dresse le portrait de femmes, souvent philippines ou indonésiennes, qui sacrifient leur vie personnelle pour venir travailler à Hongkong et envoyer de l’argent à leur famille restée au pays.
Asia Times: Moms away from home: stories of Hong Kong’s domestic helpers
“Two-thirds of Hong Kong’s domestic helpers are also mothers. Most of the time, they are forced to leave their young children at home so that they can work abroad and give their children better futures,” Joanna Bowers, writer and director of The Helper, told Asia Times.
Hong Kong News: A million thanks to ‘The Helper’, the unsung hero
A new feature-length documentary titled “The Helper” by British filmmaker Joanna Bowers is currently screening in Hong Kong cinemas. It chronicles compelling stories, both wonderful and heart-breaking, of Hong Kong’s female migrant workers mostly coming from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Today: Charity screening raises S$6,000 for migrant workers’ NGO
The charity screening of The Helper at The Projector raised about S$6,000 for migrant workers’ advocacy group, the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home).
The Straits Times: Film spotlights HK’s Unsung Heroes – domestic helpers
The theme of maternal sacrifice runs through the documentary titled The Helper – many domestic helpers are mothers working their way out of poverty, looking after other people’s children to improve the lives of their own kids.
Daily Mail Online: Hong Kong Migrant Mothers Sing For Their Distant Children
“These women are considered second-class citizens and often treated in a very unimportant disposable way,” says Bowers. “We wanted to see if we could elevate their status.”
South China Morning Post: Donor Frocks Help Hong Kong Helpers Look the Part on Red Carpet for Premiere of Documentary About Their Lives
Style consultant Sheryl Bolden appealed for donation of dresses so the domestic helpers who appear in documentary The Helper looked the part on red carpet at film’s premiere
CNN: Hong Kong’s Unsung Heroes: Mothers Making the Ultimate Sacrifice
The film chronicles the diverse stories of five of Hong Kong’s migrant domestic workers. It shows the reality of their daily lives and explores the contribution they make to the working families in Hong Kong whilst they deal with separation from their loved ones.
Sassy Hong Kong Profiles Director of The Helper, Joanna Bowers
Joanna Bowers is a woman on a mission. As a producer, filmmaker and mama she has always been passionate about telling stories while communicating larger issues. Inspired by her own helper’s story – and domestic helpers in Hong Kong – she set off to create an eye-opening (and hopefully “heart-opening”) documentary about these women’s lives.
South China Morning Post: The Helper is on the way: Hong Kong film about migrant workers gets closer to completion
“In just 30 days the team raised US$89,000 and even more donations came in after the campaign ended…The fact that we raised a significant amount of money and in a short time goes to show what an important issue it is in Hong Kong”
South China Morning Post: British director seeks funding for film about choir of Hong Kong domestic helpers who will perform at Clockenflap
“I want to show the public that these people aren’t just household appliances,” said British filmmaker Bowers.
Time Out: Make The Helper Happen
“If you only watch one video today…make it this one”
Hong Kong Coconuts: Kickstarter launched for film about the ‘Unsung Heroes’ among Hong Kong’s domestic workers
“These filmmakers are incredibly passionate and socially minded”