Heartfelt Documentary about the lives of domestic workers in Hong Kong

On Monday, The Environmental and Social Impact club (ESI Club) organized a movie outing to watch the newly released and critically acclaimed The Helper” documentary. In line with the ESI club’s aim -to drive awareness of social and environmental issues in business and society amongst the MBA student community- the viewing was a great success. With the final scenes, not even the hardest of hearts remained unmoved.

The movie follows the lives of domestic live-in helpers in Hong Kong and the lives they leave behind in their home countries – often the Philippines or Indonesia. The contrasting images of the glossy skylines of Hong Kong and the slums of Manila quickly set the tone for the movie.

The Helper.png

Central to the story line is the choir Unsung Heroes and their journey to perform at Cockenflap, Hong Kong’s largest music festival. The choir is entirely comprised of domestic workers and boosts some incredible talent. The scenes of the performance on the main stage at Cockenflap, with the cheering crowds not only is emotional but also paints an unseen picture of how Domestic Workers are often seen by society.

The main song preformed is an original created especially for the Unsung Hero choir and titled “I wish I could kiss you good night”. The title and lyrics get under the skin of the audience, making it clear that these women give up their families and children to take care of those of their employers, thousands of kilometres away from home.

Slums in Manila

Hong Kong Skyline

Overall the documentary shows a more positive side to the lives of domestic workers and is able to emphasize that they are more than the people that wash the dishes and take care of the children of affluent strangers - they are mothers and wives with hopes and fears just like all of us.

As a result of the movie the ESI club is looking into possible volunteering opportunities to give students the opportunity to play their part in improving the lives of this worthy community of Hong Kong’s society.