Josette Simon, who made her screen debut in Cry Freedom as a South American doctor, turns in a stellar performance in Milk and Honey as Joanna Bell, an ambitious woman who leaves her young son in Jamaica to take a job in Toronto as a live-in nanny. With high hopes she goes to night school and dreams of getting her "landed papers" a Canadian green card and the right to have her son come to Toronto to live with her.
From the start, her life up north is difficult. Joanna's employers take a lion's share of the promised $225 a week to cover their investment in paying her airfare. She feels isolated and lonely, despite the friendship of other foreign workers. When she brings David for a visit and then tries to hide him from immigration officials, the only one to really help her is the principal of David's school (Lyman Ward).
In the end, Joanna realizes that there is no land of milk and honey, but she does find someone who loves her and can be trusted. Josette Simon captures and conveys this indomitable black woman's dignity and her courage in a strange place. And in the telling of this story, screenplay writers Glen Salzman and Trevor Rhone pay tribute to the thousands of Caribbean workers who have struggled for a new life far from home.