There are so many great films and documentaries that provide a visual understanding of what it’s like to have to seek asylum. These links also contain additional resources for each film, including how you can arrange a fundraising screening of your own or follow the filmmakers on social media. Please get in touch if there are others you recommend.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: a 52 minute documentary looking at the circumstances and decisions that lead someone to be a ‘boat person’. (2011)

Border Politics: Leading human rights barrister Julian Burnside deconstructs harsh asylum seeker policies around the world, arguing that failure in political leadership is compromising human rights and destroying democratic principles in the West. (2018)

Chasing Asylum: 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. (2016)

Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time: Filmed on a mobile phone from inside Manus Island detention centre, journalist and Manus Island detainee, Behrouz Boochani, collaborated in secret with Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, to produce this film. The result offers audiences a rare glimpse into life behind the security gates for hundreds of asylum seekers currently held in indefinite detention. We are offered first hand accounts of mistreatment, intimidation and the psychological strain that many detainees experience day to day. (2017)

Constance on the Edge: One family. Two wars. Three countries. What does it take to forge a new life far from home? Filmed over 10 years, Constance on the Edge is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. (2016)

Human Flow: Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. (2017)

Mary meets Mohammad: A documentary feature film that follows the arrival of Tasmania’s first detention centre through the eyes of local Christian woman and knitting club member Mary and Muslim Afghan Hazara asylum seeker Mohammad, who is detained inside the centre – as they connect through the gift of a knitted beanie. (2013)

The Staging Post: follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia ‘stopped the boats’ and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. (2017)

Watan: A 52 minute documentary of intimate portraits of Syrian refugees in the camps and cities of Jordan, reveals a very human struggle for dignity and normality in a situation that is anything but. (2018)


The Refugee Council of Australia has more listings here.