Volume 3, Issue 10, (Originally Published on Monday 13 May 2013)
The film Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is young Victorian barrister Jessie Taylor’s second foray into filmmaking. She produced her first film, We Will Be Remembered For This, another look into Australia’s detention centre policy, when she was still a law student at Monash University.
Taylor’s new film was recently screened at the first official event of Melbourne Law School’s new student group, the Public Interest Law Network (PILN).
Taylor herself came along to the event, introducing the film briefly before having to drive directly to Sale on a Tuesday night, in preparation for a court appearance in the town the following morning: illustrating the hectic life of a Junior Counsel in Victoria.
Adopting the tag line ‘The film Julia and Tony don’t want you to see’, the documentary illustrates the circumstances of UN High Commission for Refugees processing facilities in Indonesia and Malaysia, which lead some to the decision to undertake the alternative route and become the so-called ‘boat people’, bound for Australia.
In terms of production, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is an amateur film – shaky camera work and poor lighting make this obvious almost immediately. Yet the film succeeds in its mission of illustrating why the horrific circumstances of UN processing may make the deep blue sea appear to be the better, or only, option for many refugees.
Although the film is likely to leave you sad and angry, as many in the room felt following the PILN event, this is no reason to avoid the film. The film documents the often overlooked shortfalls of refugee status determination under the UN process, and for this, Taylor should be congratulated.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea can be purchased as a digital copy film on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis online at <http://deepblueseafilm.com/about/>.