Promise and Unrest chronicles a migration story of maternal sacrifice and love labour. Separated from her daughter Gracelle at 7 months, Noemi Barredo left the Philippines for work in Malaysia before arriving in Ireland in 2000. Filmed over a five-year period this film is an ethnographic portrayal of a migrant woman performing caregiving and long-distance motherhood, while assuming the responsibility of sole provider for her extended family in the Philippines. The film’s narrative arc is shaped by the mother-daughter scripted voice-over narration deliberately staged in two languages: the mother tongue Waray dialect spoken by Noemi, which assumes an epistolary form, in dialogue with an emerging adolescent and accented English – a new and acquired idiom that Gracelle is forced to learn in a new country.
Born in South Africa, Alan Grossman is an academic, filmmaker and director of the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology. He is very experienced in documentary filmmaking on immigration and cultural identity issues.
Áine O’Brien is an Irish filmmaker and academic and is Director of the Forum on Migration and Communications (FOMACS, www.fomacs.org). She is executive producer of Abbi’s Circle (2010), a 3-part animation series funded by the Irish Film Board.