Movie Review – Chasing Asylum

Chasing Asylum is a profound, eye-opening experience for moviegoers, politicians, and anyone in The Lucky Country.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
Tom Munday

From award-winning documentary filmmaker Eva Orner (Taxi to the Dark Side), Chasing Asylum is the perfect example of journalism’s true potential. Given a big enough audience, this documentary could change every Australian politician’s mindset for the better.

Encapsulating the past fifteen years of refugee law, the documentary covers a shocking chain of events. This spectacularly crafted plea for human rights investigates the full spectrum; the poverty-stricken conditions of Nauru and Manus Island’s detention hubs, Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s shaky political and social health and the Australian government’s plan to shift refugees to Cambodia.

Having lived in America for the past decade, Australian-born Orner provides an outsider’s perspective on Australia’s befuddling refugee history. The filmmaker fleshes out her argument with a timeline of key facts and figures. The never-before-seen footage of Nauru and Manus Island’s degrading treatment of refugees is simply jaw dropping. Hidden-camera imagery captures the physical and psychological toll.

Most significant is the witness testimonies that come from all walks of life; university-aged former Salvation Army volunteers, translators and security personnel recall everything from self-mutilations to sexual mistreatment and beatings carried out by detention guards and staff. Interviewees including journalists, refugee experts and even the late Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser clarify Australia’s transition from diverse nation to fear-mongering superpower.

Set to drum-up heated debate and reforms across the world, Chasing Asylum provides a raw and unrelenting insight into Australia’s treatment of displaced persons. It is the documentary the government does not want you to see, but one everyone should watch immediately.

Chasing Asylum is now screening in Australian cinemas 

Image courtesy of CinemaPlus 


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