In 2006, a group of young people of different nationalities, backgrounds, attitudes and political views took a trip to the Baxter Detention Centre. The stories of the people they met behind the razor wire surprised, moved and challenged them. ‘We Will Be Remembered For This’ documents their journey.

It is a film for everyone. It is a clear, rational and non-politicised look at the human issues of Australia’s mandatory immigration detention policy.

This film poses the essential questions surrounding Australia’s refugee policy.  Who are the people behind the fences? How did they come to be there? What are the psychological and legal battles they now face? How much do average Australians know about this policy, and if they knew the truth, would they want it to change?

To create this film, the film-makers drew together a diverse group of people.  A teacher, a nurse, a handful of uni students, travelers and an academic.  Some who had  never visited detention, others who had done so for years, and one who had experienced it for himself.  Those opposed to the policy, those in support, and those as yet undecided. Some who had never really thought about it, another who thought about it for a living, and others in between.

The film-makers’ objective was almost experimental: to rise above social, cultural and political differences, to draw out common threads upon which all could agree.  In other words, this film strips back politics and encourages viewers to see the issue for what it really is: profoundly human.

The film includes:

  • interviews with former PM Malcolm Fraser, Julian Burnside QC, a clinical psychiatrist, a former detention officer, and many others.
  • vox pops with members of the Australian public;
  • candid, ‘journal’ style interviews with each person on the trip; and
  • an exploration of if and how the current policy may be justified or necessary.

This film was produced against a volatile political background, in full awareness that most people feel ill-prepared or unwilling to get involved in the asylum seeker issue.  ‘We Will Be Remembered’ is a tool by which people can become more aware and informed, using this awareness and information to formulate the opinion of their choosing.
This film has been made for you, your grandparents, your teachers, your students and your friends.  It’s for politicians, prisoners, and school kids.  This film has been made accessible for everyone, because the film-makers believe that everyone should see it. Its message is that regardless of politics and policy and international pressure, the people behind the fences are worthy of attention, even just for the hour it takes to watch this film.  In the words of one of the visitors, “when I visit detention and hear people’s stories, politics is the furthest thing from my mind.  When a baby has been killed, or a family has disappeared, and when a young man’s face still bears the scars of torture, the fuss bother and noisy rhetoric of the Canberra machine could not be less important”.

The characters of ‘We Will Be Remembered For This’ have undertaken a journey.  There were some laughs, some let downs, a few epiphanies, a lot of driving, discussions, debates and questions raised.  The film-makers’ goal was reached – to unite this group of people, to rise above the things that divided them, and to identify and illuminate the things they shared in common, with each other and with the people behind the fences.

Share their journey.


One response

1 05 2007
Glenn Taylor

Good on you! I’ll watch the space…

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