When Mother Comes Home for Christmas (1996)

Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - Greece, India  |  
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A Sri Lankan woman reluctantly ventures to Greece to work as a housemaid so that she might support her children back home. This moving Indian-Greek documentary tells her painful story. Because the work situation is tough in Sri Lanka, 70% of the women are forced to work abroad, usually as household servants. Josephine is one of them. Prior to receiving training, she was a migrant worker. Her abusive husband abandoned her and her three children and died shortly afterward. She then sent her kids to boarding school and to afford that she had to work abroad. She ends up in a wealthy Grecian home where she takes care of their infant daughter, to whom Josephine gives plenty of the affection she wishes she could show her children. Almost everything she earns, she sends back to her children. They, who seldom see her, are not ungrateful, but feel estranged to her and have the mistaken perception that she lives in luxury's lap while they must struggle at home. Around Christmas, Josephine finally gets the opportunity to return home to see her own children. Hoping to finally rest and get to know her family after an eight-year absence Josephine finds herself working as hard as ever to help pay her soon-to-be-married daughter's dowry and find her family a better home.

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Keywords

family-separation, love, mother, sacrifice-for-family, self-sacrifice, servant