The Film Our Government Doesn't Want You to See

Published: 08 March 2016


Never before seen footage from inside Australia's offshore detention camps

The film goes behind the fences of our detention centres
Chasing Asylum
A controversial new Australian film from Academy Award winning film-maker Eva Orner is set to be launched in May with a companion memoir.

‘Chasing Asylum’ exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how ‘The Lucky County’ became one where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights.

The film features never before seen footage from inside Australia’s offshore detention camps that reveals the personal impact of sending those in search of a safe home to languish in limbo.

Australian whistleblowers also share their stories of working within the detention regime despite risking two years in prison.

Chasing Asylum explores the mental, physical and even the fiscal consequences of Australia’s decision to lock away families in unsanitary conditions away from media scrutiny, destroying their lives under the pretext of saving them.

Orner spent 18 months to make the crowd funded film, travelling through Afghanistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Iran where if she’d been caught filming she could have been hanged.

She spoke to everyone from asylum seekers to politicians, from activists to commentators, from David Marr to Malcolm Fraser, from returned refugees in Iran to would-be refugees in Afghanistan.

Orner smuggled a pen camera into an Indonesian jail to interview a convicted people smuggler, she interviewed whistleblowers in Australia, and in Iran she spoke to the family of a man who was killed in the Manus Island riots.

She won an Oscar in 2008 as producer of ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’, Alex Gibney’s documentary about the treatment of US prisoners of war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo.

Last year she made her debut as a director, with The Network, a documentary about a television station in Afghanistan.

Although the making of ‘Chasing Asylum’ almost broke her mentally and physically Eva hopes it can create a broader real understanding of what’s done in our name.

Tune in tonight as we speak to Eva and premiere the trailer for the film.

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