Contemporary bayani

Barrios, Najeel Ayra. “Contemporary Bayani.” Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines Film Institute, 2019.

The film tackles the life of Marina Sarno, a former distressed domestic worker, who overshadows her traumatic experiences abroad by volunteering as a case worker. She aids OFWs in need alongside working to sell clothes in the Taytay Tiangge. As she strives to help fellow workers, government injustices regarding OFW welfare serve both as her driving force and hurdle. The case of the late domestic worker Mary Jean Alberto then intertwines. Her death questions the cycle of normalized migration posed by the government in the country despite efforts of the likes of Marina.

The documentary utilizes the feminist framework of Arlie Hochschild’s concepts on emotional labor. It emphasizes that women are not only commodified through their physical labor but as well as emotional labor since it is also sold for a wage and has exchange value. This is manifested in the film as women domestic workers are being commodified through working abroad.

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