Private Project

Back to Work

Housewife Lifen finally returns to work after a long absence, but the housemaid Adi at this time runs away. Determined to save her career, Lifen has to set foot on the road to find Adi. However, when Lifen "captures" Adi at a migrant worker beauty contest, the real reason for Adi's escape leaves Lifen with an even harsher choice.

  • Zoe Chang
  • Zoe Chang
  • Megan Chen
  • Jimmy Chao
    Director of Photography
  • Ching-Hsien Huang
    Production Designer
  • Meng-Yueh Liu
    Sound Recordist
  • Kai-Fang Tung
    Costume Designer
  • Eden Luo
    Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist
  • Yi-Shan Xiao
  • CY Chiu
  • John Chan
  • Kathy Hwang
  • Shih-Ying Chang
    Key Cast
    "Ivy Wu"
    Seven Days in Heaven
  • Ara Heizel Alcantara Abraham
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy, Female
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 30, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Beijing Film Academy
Director Biography - Zoe Chang

MFA from Beijing Film Academy, majoring in Film Scriptwriting. Currently, I am a director and screenwriter.

Before pursuing my postgraduate studies, I spent several years working as a journalist in Taiwan. During this time, I focused on non-fiction writing and specialized in character-driven feature stories. After enrolling at the Beijing Film Academy in 2019, I shifted my focus to fiction writing, with a particular interest in the dark comedy genre, as well as themes related to women and family.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"Back To Work" is a film that delves into the complexities of modern womanhood and the often-overlooked stories of foreign migrant workers. As the director of this project, my creative motivation is to explore the lives of contemporary Asian wives, shedding light on the challenges they face when they aspire to pursue personal career ambitions while attempting to balance their family and work responsibilities. Often, this paradoxical situation comes at the cost of exploiting another, more vulnerable woman.

The story follows Lifen, a determined housewife, as she decides to return to work after a long absence from the workforce. However, her plans are disrupted when her housemaid, Adi, runs away. In her pursuit to find Adi, Lifen is confronted with unexpected truths about herself and the exploitation that can exist within the relationships between women.

Through Lifen's character, I aim to address the ever-present issue of the uneven distribution of household chores in modern Asian families. I wanted to challenge the notion that outsourcing housework alone can free women from the constraints of their familial roles. Lifen's journey reflects the struggles many women face today who yearn for personal fulfillment and independence while navigating societal expectations.

On the other hand, Adi, in essence, serves as a mirror image of Lifen. I sought to provide a glimpse into the lives of foreign migrant workers in Taiwan through Adi's character, highlighting their dreams, passions, and challenges beyond the typical narratives of victimhood or exceptionalism. Adi's participation in beauty pageants symbolizes her search for identity and connection in a foreign land.

"Back To Work" utilizes comedy as a guise to address the tragic theme of the potential exploitation of one woman's rights for the empowerment of another. Through the absurdity of a modern wife manhunting her maid, I aim to engage audiences in a heartfelt dialogue about women's sacrifices and choices in their pursuit of autonomy and fulfillment.

The film also sheds light on the vibrant beauty pageant culture within migrant worker communities, precisely that of Filipino migrant workers in Taiwan. These events are often grand and elaborate yet remain largely unknown to the broader Taiwanese society. I wanted to bring attention to the parallel worlds that coexist within the same time and space, inviting viewers to see the beauty and complexity in these seemingly separate lives.

"Back To Work" is not just a story; it reflects the invisible struggles that many women and migrant workers face daily. It is an invitation to empathize with the predicaments of contemporary Asian women and to recognize the shared humanity that transcends cultural and social boundaries.