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Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

An urgent and compelling account of life inside a detention centre for asylum seekers trying to reach Australia.

Watch the trailer

Dir-Scr Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani
Prod Arash Kamali Sarvestani
Netherlands-Australia-Papua New Guinea
Prod Co Sarvin Productions

An urgent and powerful documentary, shot in a detention centre where asylum seekers trying to reach Australian shores are indefinitely detained. Secretly shot on a mobile phone by Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani while detained on Manus, in Papua New Guinea, the film is a collaboration with Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani. Boochani recounts, via the testimonies of fellow inmates, the abuse and violence inflicted and the precarious state of limbo they find themselves in. Chauka, the name of the dreaded solitary confinement unit within the detention centre, was originally the name of a beautiful bird and symbol of the Manus Island. By interweaving dialogue with two Manusian men and shots of daily life on the island, the film gives a much-needed voice to Manus inhabitants, understandably distressed by the current situation. With marked restraint, the film exposes lives broken by shocking immigration policies.

Laure Bonville

See Our response to correspondence from Behrouz Boochani

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.


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