After the premier, we had dinner at Pipi’s house. The family made Corrina’s favorite food, Chinese dumplings. Although Corinna’s mother doesn’t speak much English, I could tell how proud she is of Corinna. Pipi’s mother told me Pipi couldn’t take her eyes off Corinna when she was leading the dance on the stage. For Pipi, the movie made her feel very proud and excited, but Corinna’s arrival was the biggest gift for her. Pipi has Skype call with Corinna every weekend. It is what she most looks forward to. They share everything that happened to them during the week, happiness, unhappiness, and secrets.
Pipi told Corinna that one day when Corinna has a baby, she will be coming to Germany to be their au pair. When I heard this, I was moved to tears. I always ask myself and our team one question, why we keep doing this program. At the moment, I think I know the answer. It is the life-long friendship and the growing process of both the child and the au pair. And we made it happen.
The movie is based on Pipi’s true stories with several au pairs. Pipi’s Mom is a journalist and writer. Her occupation strengthens her powers of observation. One day she called me and said “Julin, I want to write a script about au pairs and make a movie”. I thought it was just a passing impulse and didn’t take it too seriously. Afterwards, we met several times and spoke a lot on the phone. I told her how this program started, some interesting stories about au pairs and families, about culture shock, etc. A few months later, she finished the script and raised the funds to start shooting. Pipi played herself in the movie. Her father and mother in the movie are played by two famous Chinese actors. The au pair in the movie was an actress from Columbia. As a part of the program and the movie, we feel sense of accomplishment.
Pipi has grown up in the company of au pairs since she was 4 year old. Now she is already 7. She has older sisters from Germany, Finland, UK, and Australia. This experience has not only helped her speak English like a native, but even more importantly, she has become used to getting along with people with different cultures. I think that is important preparation for becoming a global citizen. For the au pairs, they get an in-depth experience of China and Chinese culture through living with them and their families.