Charis, a single working mother is suddenly brought into turmoil when she discovers that her domestic helper, Maria is pregnant. The situation is further complicated when Maria reveals that she was raped, leaving Charis in a moral dilemma. Weighing between her obligations as an employer, and both her and Maria’s personal interests, should Charis report the rape to the police and send Maria back because of the pregnancy? Or should Charis "keep" Maria, considering how close Maria has been with her and Jared?
A Viddsee Original Production
As Singaporeans, we like to believe ourselves as a society that is tolerant and gracious. But we are also pragmatic, sometimes to a fault that often makes our relationships with people appear merely transactional. Alas, we can still be quick to judge and measure people’s worth based on the convenience they bring us.
This reality is easily reflected when we engage domestic helpers. Do we really consider them as family, or is it just a loose and fragile term that is easily jeopardised when you consider certain lines crossed? Would it matter if you realised that they are a victim after all?
“Eggshell” tells the story of a single mother who is caught in a dilemma after discovering that her domestic helper pregnant. The dilemma is further complicated when she learns that her helper is a victim. Now, her decisions have gone beyond her obligations as an employer, and into something more personal - from woman to woman, she relates to the seriousness of the situation that should be handled with much sensitivity and deliberation.
The title “Eggshell" is the embodiment of all three combined; The idea that most helpers’ relationships with their employers feel like treading on eggshells, the theme of fragility and the malleable concept of “family”, and the delicacy of situations that are relatable and gender-centric to women.
This short film is not an easy piece. It is not a female empowerment piece either. In “Eggshell”, I hope to offer a window into the perspective of the female characters as they arrive at an unspoken mutual understanding. That all things considered, some relationships are not just black and white.