By Ismail Fahmi LUBIS


Social issues - Completed 2019

Within the corrupt systems of recruitment, training and placement, millions of rural Indonesian women place their hopes and dreams in domestic care roles overseas. Can competent help be delivered when the path is broken?

& Awards

Festival Film Indonesia 2019
Best Feature Documentary
Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2020
Asian Visions Competition
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (online) 2021
Doc Market Films
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Social issues, Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 91 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ismail Fahmi LUBIS
    • Producer(s)
    • Nick CALPAKDJIAN (Two Islands Digital), Mark OLSEN (Two Islands Digital)
    • Synopsis
    • Help Is On The Way brings to the screen a busy nanny school in Indramayu, West Java, that prepares women to work overseas as domestic workers. Every year, hundreds of women like Sukma, Meri, Muji and Tari are recruited by local agents who are remunerated after successfully seeing their recruits enrolled in local training centers. They are among the many women from rural areas aspiring to work in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. They enroll in a school and learn language skills and elderly care, preparing themselves for the work they will undertake overseas while completing their paperwork and waiting for placement.

      There are many reasons for women to work abroad, such as; to support their family, escape their family or to experience a sense of independence and excitement. Negotiations with family are carefully handled, as they are not always happy to see their loved ones go abroad, for what will be years, whilst other families are happy. While the women bring income that can alleviate their family poverty, at what cost and are they really improving their lives?

      Help Is On The Way explores the lives of the various women that undertake the required training and development, following them from their village to the school, into Jakarta and eventually working abroad in Taiwan. It also explores the role of the agents, teachers, and personnel at the school as well as current workers in Taiwan. It is at times an emotional journey, but also funny, enlightening and a little competitive, offering a unique insight into a lifestyle not often seen on screen.