Rating 8.1
Streamer Netflix
Seasons 1
Episodes 6 x 55 mins

You wait for a cracking Cate Blanchett series to come along and then two arrive in the same week. However, in Stateless Blanchett is both a co-creator and an on-screen actor, but critics reckon that it’s the performances of all her fellow actors that make this such an accomplished and harrowing series.

Stateless weaves the stories of four characters caught up in the Australian immigrant detention system and  The Telegraph’s Catherine Gee calls it “tense, hard-hitting, and often surreal drama”. She says the series “isn’t subtle in its message… it doesn’t take much to shine a light on the true inhumanity of how the people caught up in the system are treated. But it refrains from painting everyone in authority as either purely evil or a mindless drone.”

Lucy Mangan in The Guardian thinks the six episodes in the series “weave the stories together with a sure hand and a careful eye, avoiding all sorts of common traps.” And she says: “It does not become about one man’s guilt, but interrogates a system that relies on complicity, blind eyes and a lack of political will to change it.” According to the Independent’s Ed Cumming “This is an intriguing, sympathetic and humane drama that also serves as a critical examination of the Australian immigration system.” And, he concludes that much of Stateless “is about appearances; how a person, or a situation, can look one way but be another. Between language, family, religion, illness and poverty, there is more than one kind of detention centre, and sometimes those we can’t see are the hardest to escape.”

The great achievement of Stateless is to help us confront the tragedy that is now endured by so many people into an experience that we can relate to. And it dodges easy blame by asking hard questions. With a show of both intelligence and entertainment appeal, Cate Blanchett is proving to be an adept producer.

First shown July 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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