Go Back to Where You Came From
(M) Madman DVD
This was a bold social experiment that put six people with no idea about asylum seekers and their plight instantly out of their comfort zones by filming them as they lived with and as refugees for a month.
The program aired over three nights during Refugee Week in June and quickly garnered international attention for its frank approach as it traced, in reverse, the journeys that real refugees take to reachAustralia.
The idea that we Westerners should walk a mile in the shoes of people who have to look for a life free of persecution was both well-timed and necessary in our increasingly intolerant culture.
Whatever your views on our immigration laws, this program deconstructs them by exposing the myriad problems refugees face.
The series confronts but never sensationalises the plight of refugees.
One of the participants told the media talking that the program enforced empathy on them and the series was criticised for making people empathise with the plight of asylum seekers and engineering situations for their emotional impact.
At least one of the participants remained largely unchanged by her exposure to the experience.
This is an issue that requires policy, empathy and compassion and Go Back to Where You Came From will no doubt continue the debate around a very complex problem.