Together Apart


When Guil Ann arrives on the Mediterranean island Cyprus to join her mother as domestic worker, the women reunite for the first time in over a decade. Joining the global workforce of Filipinas abroad, Carren spent most of her adult life apart from her children. Only months later, unexpected events lead to Carren’s deportation and challenge both women to confront their precarious dreams for togetherness and a better future.

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


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

Migrancy (…) involves a movement in which neither the points of departure nor those of arrival are immutable or certain. It calls for a dwelling in language, in histories, in identities that are constantly subject to mutation. Always in transit, the promise of a homecoming - completing the story, domesticating the detour - becomes an impossibility.
— Ian Chambers