- June 29, 2021
Inspired by true stories of refugees in Australian detainment centers, Stateless dives deep into the complexities and struggles surrounding the issue of governance of refugees and a system that feeds off of xenophobia. And in the middle of systems and governments are the real human lives affected by politics beyond their control.
Created by Cate Blanchett, Elise McCredie and Tony Ayres, Stateless, a limited series now available on Netflix, tells the stories of four strangers whose lives become intertwined at a state run detention center for refugees. Sofie (Yvonne Strahovski) is an airline hostess on the run from a cult, Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi) is an Afghan father escaping persecution, Cam (Jai Courtney) is a young father in a dead-end job and Claire (Asher Keddie) is a mid-level bureaucrat stuck in an impossible situation. Each have their own secrets and their own burdens yet they are each as trapped in the broken system as the others.
In just six episodes, viewers are taken on an unexpected and deeply emotional journey that highlights the complicated bureaucracy behind the global refugee crisis. It is a common hope for all to carve out a safe and secure life. To make a home and a future for ourselves and our loved ones. But in far too many countries, security is threatened and hope is illusive. This is when brave, weary and desperate people begin the uncertain journey to find safety in distant lands.
As an ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, 2012 news reports about the conditions at border control camps caught Cate Blanchett’s attention. Her passion for human rights collided with her passion for story-telling and this ambitious series was born at her kitchen table with writer, Elise McCredie. Their hope was that these stories, with relatable hopes and emotions, would spark deeper conversations about refugees with people across the nation.
“It’s more about identity and the loss of people’s identity when they are faced with long-term detention, when they become a number, when they are dislocated from markers in their life like home and culture, and separated from their families. That’s something I very viscerally felt speaking to stateless people and refugees in the field.” Blanchett said while speaking with Deadline in February 2020.
This theme is so well done throughout the series. The viewer connects with the storylines of each main character on a deeply personal level as they live out the tragedy of statelessness that unfolds around them. Trauma is compounded as damaged people collide into each other in the clumsy system that is meant to give structure to the global refugee crisis.
The writing is superb and the acting is divine. Stateless swept the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards in 2021, often competing against itself in many categories. In all, it won in thirteen categories and was a fan favourite when it aired in Australia in the spring of 2020.
And if all that isn’t enough to persuade you to watch it, I’m not sure what more I can say. Just check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Stateless on Netflix now.
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