Inspired by Australia’s recent history, the ABC and Netflix drama Stateless peaks as four strikingly different characters meet in an immigration detention centre.


Co-creator and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett, who stars in the series, uses the term Stateless as a concept for those of us feeling lost, both in our personal worlds and on the world stage.

If we turn our back on people who are fleeing persecution and conflict and who are seeking assistance, we get separated from our own humanity, and I think, our own identity,” she says.

Marta Dusseldorp, a longtime refugee advocate and Special Representative for Australia for UNHCR, joined the cast with a similar mission.

There needs to be a moral understanding that to allow the problem means you are part of the problem,” she says.


Marta says she and Cate had been discussing Stateless for a long time.

“I have always been passionate about refugees being seen and given back some of their dignity, a place to call home, an education,” she says.

“Going on missions and seeing the work UNHCR does on the ground has opened my eyes completely to the need for a stronger conversation about Australia's response for refugees and how we must do better.”

The six-part series can be streamed free of charge through ABC iView. It is scheduled for international release on Netflix later in 2020.

Our Special Representative Marta Dusseldorp in a scene from Stateless ©️ABC/B. King

While Stateless presents one side of the story, an equally gritty watch from another side of the fence is Capernaum.

As noted by Cate Blanchett in her watchlist 'Films of Hope' released this week, the Lebanese film focuses on a 12-year-old Syrian-born refugee who hustles life on the streets of Beirut and eventually sues his parents for the ‘crime’ of giving him life.

Director Nadine Labaki cast non-professionals, playing characters that paralleled their own lives. Rather than relying on a script, Labaki asked they respond to situations naturally, adapting the storyline as they went.

Capernaum won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, an award intended to recognise original works that embody the spirit of inquiry.

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