Culture

See Manus Island Through An Asylum Seeker’s Eyes In This Incredible-Looking Animated Movie

It's called Nowhere Line, and it looks amazing.

About a year ago, hundreds of asylum seekers were injured after PNG locals stormed Australia’s Manus Island detention centre. One man, 23-year-old Reza Berati, was beaten to death, while another was shot in the buttocks and a third lost his right eye.

In October Melbourne-based animator and director Lukas Schrank got in contact with two young men being held on Manus Island, and learnt about their stories over the phone. Based on their testimony, Schrank created Nowhere Line, an animated documentary detailing their journeys from their home countries to the Manus Island riots.

The two men’s phone interviews provide the voice of the film, recalling their attempts to find passage to Australia from Jakarta and their memories of Berati when he was alive.

Speaking to the Guardian a few days ago, Schrank said he chose to make an animated film partly in response to the government’s comic book distributed in Afghanistan to deter would-be asylum seekers a year ago, and partly to try and get around people’s standard reactions when they think of the asylum debate.

“When there is so much public exposure to any tragic event, the meaning of these events becomes lost so quickly, human lives becomes statistics, shocking imagery becomes a random assortment of familiar shapes and colours. By removing that familiarity and reframing the story, the film should be able to challenge people’s preconceptions and beliefs on the subject, and perhaps restore a level of humanity to the portrayal of people seeking asylum,” Schrank told the Guardian.

A crowdfunding campaign for the project, the funds of which will partly go towards helping detainees in detention centres, has already raised over $18,000. Schrank is looking to release Nowhere Lines in full by the end of February.

Feature image via Nowhere Line/Facebook.