Border Politics

90 minute Documentary


Production Company: Rymer Childs
Director: Judy Rymer
EP: David Noakes
Producers: Lois Harris, Judy Rymer
Associate Producer: Robyn Smith
DOPs: Marden Dean, Gerry Vasbenter

Angela Cerasi graded this documentary featuring Human Rights barrister, Julian Burnside AO, deconstructing harsh asylum seeker policies.  The documentary was directed by Judy Rymer of Rymer Childs.

Julian Burnside is one of Australia’s leading commercial barristers and since 2001, a leading human rights barrister . In 2001 he was asked to act pro bono for the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (VCCL) and Victorian solicitor Eric Vadarlis in the Tampa Case, about the boat MV Tampa which was involved in rescuing refugees hoping for asylum in Australia.  The government refused entry to the asylum seekers, which resulted in the court case.  Burnside believes that successive Australian governments have failed to meet their international obligations, breaching the Declaration of Human Rights, the International Rights of the Child and the Refugee Convention.

In Border Politics, 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.  He challenges the audience to consider their human rights obligations towards the desperate needs of refugees and to force their governments to take a more humane approach.  He looks at whether eroding civil rights for refugees actually erodes everyone’s human rights.

As Burnside says “The human dimension of the problem is kept well hidden. The tragedy is that those who suffer it are politically irrelevant, and those who have the power to change it either do not know or do not care”.

In this documentary, Julian Burnside travels the world in this documentary to look at  how other Western countries treat refugees; attends a UN meeting on refugees in New York and visits refugee camps in Jordan, Lesbos in Greece and at the Mexican border.

To see another documentary colour graded by Angela Cerasi, check out the trailer for Islam and the Future of Tolerance here.