The caretaker

7 minutes

The interned and the undocumented: the immigration spectrum in the US today

‘I hope she can stay a little bit more…’

With many Americans either too far away or too busy to care for their elderly relatives, the task is frequently shifted to professional caregivers – often female immigrants from cultures where caring for elders is seen as a moral imperative. The Caretaker is the story of Joesy, an undocumented Fijian immigrant, as she looks after Haru, an elderly Japanese woman in the final months of her life. While Joesy enjoys the connections to others that she forms through her job, the work is emotionally demanding, requiring around-the-clock care and always being prepared to bid farewell to people on the verge of death. The threat of deportation also hangs over every moment and with every passing police officer – an experience that has further bonded Joesy to Haru, who was interned during the Second World War. Delicately crafted and moving, The Caretaker is part of the Immigrant Nation short documentary series, which explores the lives of people who have moved to the United States.

Director: Theo Rigby, Kate McLean

Website: Dogpatch Films, Real Ideas Studio

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