Chasing Asylum

Directed by Eva Orner

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.


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  • ★★★½ review by Felix Hubble: Boy Donkey on Letterboxd

    Pretty confronting doco - hope it gets some traction overseas so our government can cop wider spread scorn tbh.

  • ★★★★ review by Troy Thrace on Letterboxd

    It is terrifying that much of what Chasing Asylum investigates is already known to those who care enough to find out. But to have it packaged into a documentary feature refocuses the problems, and makes years of abhorrent treatment intensely amplified.

    We have tortured these people; mentally and sometimes physically, and there is no defence that can justify our governments actions... Our actions. Our inaction. Tony Abbott’s third ~proud~ declaration in the film that the boats have been stopped, inspired a giggle from the audience and then a loud, depressive sigh (an emotional response that defined most of his prime ministership): this was never about saving lives to him or his colleagues. if it were, mature regional and global solutions would be on the table, ones that don’t leave asylum seekers stranded by our laws to die or live out a life of depravity elsewhere. We stopped the boats, and in the process swept these people, and the real problems that inspire them to seek asylum into the hands of countries less equipped to deal with their plight.

    It’s an important feature, I doubt it’s ability to make the waves that it intends to but hopefully -at the very least- it inspires change in the current election discourse that is already painfully using the men, women and children this film humanises into -yet again- the shameful political footballs of privileged white men.

  • ★★★★ review by Sean Kelly on Letterboxd

    #52FilmsByWomen Film 19

    Chasing Asylum is a documentary that is almost sure to anger those who care about human rights.

    Blog Review:

  • ★★★★★ review by Siân on Letterboxd

    I'm ashamed to say this, but I wasn't aware of what was happening to asylum seekers attempting to make it to Australia before seeing Chasing Asylum. On the one hand, what a perfect documentary for me then; on the other hand, how could I have not known about this horrendous, positively evil thing going on in the world?

    Regardless of how much you might know about the asylum seekers, your jaw will literally drop during this documentary. You will feel sick to your stomach. You will hold back tears. You will leave feeling frustrated and ashamed (and doubly so if you happen to be Australian, ahem). Director Eva Orner has crafted an absolutely essential documentary that exposes the cruelties that the Australian government has been subjecting on asylum seekers.

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  • ★★★★ review by - Jacob - on Letterboxd

    Watched in solidarity with 200 days of protest on Nauru.

    For the average Australian Chasing Asylum is essentially a counter argument to the government sponsored A Current Affair segment on offshore detention that aired last year - it's a documentary made about Australian politics for Australians.

    Whilst the international community might find it interesting and the human element moving, without having lived in the ongoing rhetoric of "boat people" and "stop the boats" (the basis for every electoral campaign in the last decade) it isn't quite as immediate.

    For those inclined to compassion toward refugees/asylum seekers Chasing Asylum is a painful reminder and important summation of the known facts; for those against Australian resettlement of detainees from Manus Is. and Nauru, I'd hope this would turn hearts and minds and scourge the country of the painful "economic migrant" argument. i.e. If I were on welfare for a year in Australia I would cost tax payers roughly 5% of the cost of housing one detainee for the same time. Now even for the stone hearted that's atrocious economic management.


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