The crowded boat has sunk. Would you rather let go and drown, or wait to see if a shark takes you? Asylum seekers on Christmas Island have been confronted with terrifying choices yet treated like criminals by the Australian immigration system.
“It’s not illegal to seek asylum and it’s not acceptable to experience punishment for requesting safety and protection.” A man makes a break for it in the blueish green light of the rainforest; rangers come to the aid of millions of land crabs as they begin their annual migration to the shoreline from the depths of the lush vegetation. Christmas Island is a place of both astounding beauty, and fierce nature, where the locals make offerings to their ghosts.
We observe counsellor Poh Lin as she spends time with her young family and works with trauma and torture survivors based at the offshore facility for asylum seekers. Poh Lin’s ability to help is becoming increasingly compromised by the rising bureaucracy of the Australian Immigration policies.