Inspired by a terrible true story, Stateless is an Australian mini-series that tackles the country’s immigration policy through the journeys of four characters. Is this drama co-created by Cate Blanchett worth watching?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
Four foreigners find themselves stuck in an Australian immigration detention centre. Each character approaches the contradictions of border protection and control from their perspective.
The Stateless miniseries is available on Netflix. 6 episodes seen out of 6.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE ?
WHO IS IT WITH?
Stateless can boast of having an exceptional cast with talents well known to series aficionados, including Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale), Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair), Fayssal Bazzi (Mr. Inbetween), Asher Keddie ( Offspring) but also Jai Courtney (Spartacus). The series’ co-creator, Cate Blanchett, also plays a role as cold and unsettling as her character in Mrs. America. The rest of the cast also includes Rachel House, Kate Box, Clarence Ryan and Claude Jabbour.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
The mini-series inspired by true stories available on Netflix often rhyme with small jewels and the new acquisition of the American platform is no exception. Co-created by Cate Blanchett with Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, Stateless is based on the incredible and traumatic experience of Cornelia Rau, a mentally ill Australian permanent resident who was illegally imprisoned in an immigration detention centre. The high-profile case resulted in a government inquiry into the country’s deplorable immigration policies. Serious shortcomings have been observed and the urgency of reform has been felt. The series chooses to follow four characters with different paths, all inspired by real stories, including that of Cornelia here called Sofie (Yvonne Strahovski).
We also adopt the points of view of Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi), an Afghan refugee who tries to reach Australia with his family, Cameron (Jai Courtney), who accepts a job as a guard in the detention center to support of his family, and Clare (Asher Keddie), in charge of immigration who tries to bring order to the Barton center. Thanks to this multitude of relevant points of view, Stateless does not fall into Manichaeism and succeeds in criticizing the immigration policy of the Australian government with sincerity and accuracy while delivering a moving and painful story about a flouted humanity and beings in prey to injustice. The many flashbacks help to better understand the journeys of each character who end up despite themselves in Barton, a disastrously organized immigration detention center with a hierarchy that puts pressure on its employees and faces protests from activists and of human rights defenders.
Immersion in this place, symptomatic of a disastrous policy, is suffocating and causes an upheaval in each of the protagonists. Little by little, Sofie realizes the sufferings of the past and the harmful and terrifying influence of a couple of gurus wonderfully embodied by Cate Blanchett and Dominic West. Despite her beliefs and her desire for freedom, Ameer must make unforgivable sacrifices to protect her family and obtain a visa. Cameron and Clare are two human beings crushed by the repressive system and gradually sink into behaviors that are harmful to others and to themselves. It’s hard not to be deeply touched by Stateless, which is not necessarily tearful but which deals with an important theme, brought to light with sensitivity and strength by a remarkable team of writers and directors.
In addition to its very strong and more topical subject than ever, Stateless is also based on an extremely solid cast. Yvonne Strahovski lets all the power of her dramatic talent, sometimes too restrained, exult in The Handmaid’s Tale and is overwhelming in this role of a destitute, lost and sick woman who has too often been mentally and physically abused. The Australian actress has one of her best roles there. Fayssal Bazzi, Jai Courtney and Asher Keddie embody their respective characters with great soul and accuracy and carry the story on their shoulders. With very beautiful photography and effective staging, Stateless is therefore part of the beautiful and growing line of quality mini-series available on Netflix and inspired by true stories after the moving and hard-hitting Unbelievable, In their gaze or more. recently Unorthodox.