Seeking for Safety
A short documentary Manus was written and directed by Angus McDonald. The film brings the lives of hundreds of refugees on Manus Island closer to the audience. With all the debate and controversy that the topic of gets, it feels like it’s impossible to find a solution. Everything looks very complicated and uncontrollable. However, this short documentary kind of simplifies the whole issue and explains that it all begins with how we treat one another.
Manus Island, where this documentary takes place, is part of Manus Province in northern Papua New Guinea. The film, according to Angus, was created based on footage by two-time Walkley award-winning journalist Olivia Rousset. The audience gets to hear from the people, that have gone through it all themselves what is actually happening and how the federal government is constantly trying to keep the people on Manus invisible from the public. Refugees and asylum seekers have been held on the island for years, in inhumane and unsanitary conditions. The system, so brutal and broken that it forces people into despair and agreeing to come back from wherever they were flying from.
The aim of the documentary is to give voice, to those who don’t have one and to simply humanize their suffering for the public. A poem about Manus included in the film, written by the Kurdish journalist, award-winning writer and asylum seeker on Manus, Behrouz Boochani, provides the viewer with a deep insight into the inner world of the men, women, and kids in the refugee camp.
Angus McDonald: “We need to recognize that those who arrive are not criminals or illegal. They are simply people running for their lives who seek our help and we need to begin helping them instead of adding further to their suffering. This is a film about humanity and solidarity. “
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