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An intensely human documentary film that follows the lives of foreign women over 10 years. Foreign women workers in a Taiwan hospice for the elderly are there to provide for their families. They comfort themselves by singing a self-mocking song said No money, no honey’. Their greatest source of sadness is being foreign to their families in their own countries. Foreign women workers work for 3 years, the duration of a contract. During the 3 years they work with almost no days off. And what awaits these women is an awkward family reunion. After using all the money they’ve earned, these women head for foreign lands again by spending a fortune. They work for the family’s future but can’t see that future themselves, and can’t share familial love with them. Money and Honey chronicles the women’s hard work and family affairs, which are much harder than the work; their strength and unwillingness to giving up hope are affecting. (CHO Young-jung)


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With the release of its South Korea edition a few days ago, the Taiwanese film Money and Honey, super wide-angle category finalist in the Busan International Film Festival, came with good news!

 

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The Taiwanese documentary Money and Honey has been accepted in the 2011 Busan International Film Festival as a competition film in the “Wide Angle” section, with the world premier taking place on October 9, 2011. At the screening, the film’s director Jasmine Ching-hui Lee (李靖惠) gave the audience a shock when she appeared out of a suitcase she had been hiding in. After the screening, the Korean audience greeted the film with warm applause, their interest further fueling a lengthy Q & A session with Lee. Lee, who was visiting Korea for the fourth time, also took time to visit to a regular shooting location for the popular Korean soap opera Secret Garden, the Caffé Bene coffee shop chain.  

 

The Director’s Surprise Appearance Out of a Suitcase

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Writte
nHermia Lin

It has been a long journey for both filmmaker Jasmine Lee and five female Filipino migrant workers for the past 13 years. Since 1998, Lee began shooting the documentary Money and Honey and closely followed the life of Baby, Lolita, Marlyn, Arlene and Onie, who had come all the way from the Philippines to work in a nursing home in Taiwan.


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Screening 1: 10/09(Sun.) 14:00

Screening 2: 10/12(Wed.) 17:00

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Money and Honey depicts the lives of Filipina caregivers who look after the elderly in a nursing home in Taiwan. Being away from their loved ones, the migrant workers, as well as the elderly suffer from homesickness. In the flow of life, stories of joy and sorrow take place.


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Baby is around forty years old with two young boys.

Her husband is an odd-jobman. Baby is a high-school graduate, and worked in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as a housemaid. She returned to the Philippines when the Iran-Iraq War broke out. She worked in Taiwan for 6 years. Baby is very cheery and is good at using body language to express herself. She is one of the main characters of this film.

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Jasmine LEE Ching-hui is currently an assistant professor of the Department of Visual Communication Design at Dayeh University. She has been an independent filmmaker since 1996, when her maternal grandparents moved into a nursing home. Based on her own experiences of care-giving and stories from the nursing home, she created a tetralogy of films entitled “The Realm of Womanhood,” including Where Is My Home (1999), The Ballads of Grandmothers (2003), which won the First Prize in the International Women's Film Festival in Seoul and the Best Individual Achievement Award in the Taipei Film Festival. City of Memories (2007), which won the Best Documentary at the South Taiwan Film Festival, and was selected for competition in the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival. Money and Honey (2011), which enters documentary competition in the BIFF Wide Angle Section this year.

 

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Money and Honey is sponsored by the Asian Cinema Fund-Asian Network of documentary PUFS Fund, BUSAN International Film Festival. The selection cause is, “The project covers an often overlooked social topic in today’s society. Through intimate personal filming over many years, we are naturally drawn to the characters and to empathize with them.”

 

With the advance of globalization, human migration is expanding at a phenomenal rate. Migrant workers are an important and integral element of modern Asian society. The Philippines is the world’s second largest exporter of labour, with almost ten million Filipinos, or one-tenth of the country’s total population, working abroad. A key factor in this phenomenon is the aging society and the need for care. In Taiwan, the population is aging faster than any other nation on earth. The film Money and Honey brings together these two conditions to document the lives of both Taiwanese elders and their Filipino carers.

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Director & Producer & CinematographerJasmine LEE Ching-hui (Link) 

Jasmine LEE Ching-hui has been working on documentaries for seventeen years and has won many awards including the first prize at the International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.

 

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