Together Apart | 57 min. | Cyprus, PHILIPPINES |2018
Together Apart is an intimate family portrait of two indigenous women, a mother and a daughter, who left the Philippines to seek work abroad. Guil Ann, a twenty-five-year-old woman from the Cordilleras, follows her own mother Carren to the other side of the world. As the most eastern outpost of the European Union, Cyprus has one of the lowest wages for migrant domestic helpers, but still recruits large numbers of workers. Only months after mother and daughter reunite on the island, unexpected events lead to Carren’s forced departure.
Having lived abroad for almost two decades, the mother has to adjust to a new life in the Philippines, while the daughter is passed the baton of having to provide cross-generational income. Shifting between the temporary present and future imagination of serial migrants, the film contemplates notions of self-hood, belonging and care, sharing insights into the complex emotional web of transnational migration as it transcends victimization and sacrifice.
Produced by Manifest Media
Directed and Written by Maren Wickwire
Editing by Iara Rodriguez Vilardebó
Cinematography by Maren Wickwire
Sound Mix and Design by Christos Kyriacoullis
Color by Panicos Petrides
Runing time 57 min.
Keywords: labor migration | transnational motherhood | mediascapes | global care chains | Overseas Filipino Workers | Narrative Approach | ethnographic film | Visual Anthropology
You have only yourself...
"It’s very hard to find a true friend. Sometimes you have only yourself as a friend and you can only depend on yourself, especially when you are abroad. It’s so hard to trust." Guil Ann
When I come home...
"I don't have land or a house for my family in the Philippines. That's why I hope I can build just a little house when I come home."
My salary is not enough...
"My salary is not enough. Half is going to my family and half I’m paying for my credits in the Philippines. I met so many people and they stayed abroad for about 20 years, 25 years. Hopefully 10 years will be enough." Guil Ann
The defining success of Maren Wickwire’s film is its intervention in the translation processes of migration that often turn Self to Other. By highlighting the Filipina domestic workers’ own experiences of displacement in Cyprus, “Together Apart” asserts and celebrates its protagonists as significant subjects of history, globalization, and the multicultural reality of contemporary Cyprus. Guil Ann and her mother Carren expose displacement as a challenge, an opportunity, an anxiety, a delight, a loneliness, a longing, and a series of losses. Displacement is a weak internet signal on a rooftop in the Philippines through which to connect on Facetime; it is carefree comradery on a much-needed night out for karaoke in Old Nicosia; it is a box of modest gifts finally reaching its intended recipients notwithstanding miscellaneous travel hurdles across continents. At the core is the perseverance of human intimacy or the profound connection of one Self to another in a state of being apart.
Dr. Marilena Zackheos
Director of The Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies,
Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Nicosia