Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Chasing Asylum 2016

Directed by Eva Orner

Defying the media bans inside the camps, this combination of whistle-blower testimony and illegal footage leaves no doubt about the cruel reality of Australia’s off-shore refugee detention centres.

Australia In Arabic, Dari, English and Farsi with English subtitles
96 minutes DCP
M (content may disturb)

Director/Producer

Photography

Tim Deagle
,
Martin Johnson
,
Michael Downey
,
Khadim Dai
,
Corey Baudinette

Editor

Annabelle Johnson

Music

Cornel Wilczek

With

Nicole Judge
,
Mark Isaacs
,
Martin Appleby
,
Michael Bachelard
,
David Manne
,
David Marr
,
Dr Peter Young
,
Greg Lake
,
Khadim
,
Tahira
,
Malcolm Fraser

Drawing on an abundance of whistle-blower testimony and stealthily shot footage, Australian filmmaker Eva Orner (producer of Alex Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side) exposes the squalid cruelty of the notorious detention centres established by the Australian government to house asylum-seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. Claiming, not inaccurately, that they carry the mandate of the Australian people, a succession of Australian prime ministers stonily insist that the net effect of the centres is humanitarian: by making it clear that asylum seekers are unwelcome, they have saved thousands from rat-shit boats and the clutches of ruthless people smugglers. Attesting in heartbreaking detail to the relentless degradation of the detainees, Orner’s film surely reinforces the deterrent effect, while exposing forever the grotesquerie of the conscience-salving humanitarian argument. Flouting a widespread disclosure ban that carries draconian penalties, former aid workers and security staff provide us, through their bravery, with some small hope that their compatriots may recoil just as decisively from the horrors being committed to keep Australia Fair.