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» » Chasing Asylum (2016)

Short summary

Chasing Asylum tells the story of Australia's cruel, inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, examining the human, political, financial and moral impact of current and previous policy.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Jogas
    As a cinephile but a novice in the documentary genre, I came into this movie knowing little of what to expect. What i found was a film which was very clearly made with much passion. The film sets out to criticize the Australian refugee policies as people seek to immigrate there from various countries. These people are unaware that Australia is far from the accepting and liberal environment in which they thought, and are met with government workers who send them to detention centers. Refugees are currently a rather hot topic, and I was worried that I would learn little from this film that i hadn't already read, heard on the news, or consumed elsewhere. Fortunately i found that the film was focused on the life within the detention center which i knew nothing of and found the experience relatively original and quite emotionally draining. Looking around the theatre at TIFF it wasn't uncommon to see tear's being shed at the emotional moments of the film; moment which to my surprise, i didn't find overly melodramatic. They felt real. When the film zero's in upon the specific affects which these detention centre's have, such as extreme depression and self harm, the film was quite captivating, and even surprising at time. The extent of these psychological impacts can be quite brutal and the way they are easily dismissed by the Australian politician's is very interesting. A great interview with the late former Prime Minister of Australia was a specific highlight. The film may have slight flaws however. Many interviews with Australian politician's are cut short, feeling as if the documentary didn't really want you to know everything they had to say. The scenes interviewing parents of victims who died feel too long. They have little of interest to say, although a more sentimental man than myself may disagree. The film also ends with a grand list of people who refused to be interviewed. Its simply unfortunate that their opinions can not be explored. Some Michael Moore style showing up at their door would have been intriguing. These complaints mean little however for the interviews which were shared on camera were very meaningful in their own way. I truly hope this documentary can stir up some extra controversy around this topic for change really needs to happen.
  • comment
    • Author: Kigul
    This film shows first-hand the conditions and treatment of people, including children, being kept in indefinite detention for doing nothing wrong or illegal. All refugees have the right to seek asylum in any signatory country to the 1951 Convention on Refugees, yet Australia breaks the law, and denies these people their human rights, purely to set an "example" to others who might want to try to come to Australia by sea.

    Journalists are banned from these detention camps, and seeing this film, you know why! When people see how these refugees are being abused, they will feel sickened and furious. This film is not melodramatic, or biased: it presents what is happening clearly and honestly, and shows the depths that governments will go to to try to win votes.

    Anyone who thinks they are a human being should see this film!
  • comment
    • Author: Umge
    Terrible documentary film making. One sided and culturally disgraceful towards Pacific Islanders.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    John Howard John Howard - Himself, Prime Minister of Australia 1996-2007 (archive footage)
    Julia Gillard Julia Gillard - Herself, Prime Minister of Australia 2010-2013 (archive footage)
    Tony Abbott Tony Abbott - Himself, Prime Minister of Australia 2013-2015 (archive footage)
    Scott Morrison Scott Morrison - Himself, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection 2013-2014 (archive footage)
    Mark Isaacs Mark Isaacs - Himself, immigration detention centre employee on Nauru
    Nicole Judge Nicole Judge - Herself, immigration detention centre employee on Nauru and Manus Island
    Greg Lake Greg Lake - Himself, former director of the Nauru immigration detention camp
    Michael Bachelard Michael Bachelard - Himself, journalist, The Sydney Morning Herald
    Khadim Dai Khadim Dai - Himself, Hazara refugee (as Khadim)
    Asad Asad - Himself, Hazara refugee
    Kevin Rudd Kevin Rudd - Himself, Prime Minister of Australia 2007-2010 and 2013 (archive footage)
    Martin Appleby Martin Appleby - Himself, G4S Guard, Manus Regional Processing Centre
    David Manne David Manne - Himself, executive director, Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre
    David Marr David Marr - Himself, journalist and author
    Peter Young Peter Young - Himself, chief psychiatrist, detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru
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