Kitchen porters Ping and her grandson Hsu Chien are on a break when interrupted by a mortally wounded boy pursued by three thugs. Hsu Chien confronts them, forcing Ping to attack the leader with a meat cleaver, leaving the blood-soaked Chinese with the dying boy in their arms. When Hsu Chien moves to call the authorities, Ping is forced to reveal that they are illegal immigrants. Ping insists that going to the police is naive and would jeopardize the safety of their family, whilst Hsu Chien is adamant they cannot let the boy die, or forever lose their humanity. The boy wakes, pleading with the Chinese not to abandon him. Reluctantly, Ping agrees to take the boy to the hospital. After a calamitous attempt at delivering the boy to the hospital results in a foot chase with the police, Ping and Hsu Chien only just manage to escape. Ping thanks Hsu Chien for convincing her to do the right thing, and Hsu Chien says he now understands why Ping was reluctant to help the boy if it meant risking the family’s safety. With a newfound mutual respect, Ping and Hsu Chien burn their car before disappearing into the night.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. This particular passage from Corinthians really resonated with us and the timeless moral dilemma of facing temptation and sin. Does familial obligation supersede righteousness? If the former is correct, what then does it mean to do the right thing? These are the kinds of questions Ping and Hsu Chien must face on their quest in a foreign land, with only each other to rely on when the going gets tough. The concept of God being ‘faithful’ and to ‘provide the way of escape’ is fascinating. In Help Me Brother!, we have clearly defined and purposeful moments. When our protagonists are faced with a crossroads, there is a sign that guides them towards making a decision that they believe is the right path. Whilst I had already written a draft of HMB when I found out about the pitch, the moral obligations of the characters have become more prominent as the drafts have progressed.