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At Barton Detention Centre in Australia, the lives of four strangers converge as they each come to terms with the Immigration process in Stateless. A thought-provoking and profound drama from Cate Blanchett.

If ever there was a thought-provoking, hard-hitting drama that you should watch, Stateless would be it.

Created and co-starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (Nightmare Alley), this is an Australian limited series that focuses on the lives of four strangers who converge at an immigration detention center.

What Is Stateless About?

Inspired by a true story, at least one of the characters is based on a real-life person. That is Sophie Werner (Yvonne Strahovski).

An Australian citizen, Sophie (based on the story of Cornelia Rau), is a young woman whose mental fragility is demonstrated from the outset.

With overbearing parents and a life she hates, she turns to a cult-style organisation for respite. However, after a traumatic incident, Sophie's parents commit her to an institution from which she escapes, only to be picked up by border police.

From there, she pretends to be German and finds herself at Barton Detention Centre, awaiting deportation.

Alongside Sophie at Barton is Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi), an Afghan refugee who has made the perilous journey, via Pakistan, to Australia with his wife and two daughters.

Their story is one of despair as they risk everything for the promise of a better life. But when Ameer's plans go badly wrong, he finds himself in an impossible situation at Barton.

Barton Detention Centre is managed by Clare Kowitz (Asher Keddie from Offspring). New to the job she has more or less been thrown into the deep end by Immigration Services.

Despite being tasked with getting the center under control, the bureaucracy between the Government department and the security contractors who look after the day-to-day is never-ending.

Clearly, there are problems, but Clare just can't get a handle on them, testing her resolve more and more as time goes on.

Lastly, there is Cam Stamford (Jai Courtney), a happily married man with three young kids. With well-paid jobs scarce in the area, he takes a security guard position at Barton.

His initial happy-go-lucky, helpful demeanour is soon worn away by the difficulties of the job, spilling over into his home life.

Stateless Official Trailer

Is Stateless Worth Watching?

With only six episodes, there is a lot to pack in, and while all four stories are very well told, the show isn't rushed.

In fact, it's paced slowly enough to let you absorb the horrors that all four are facing, both personally and professionally.

Be warned, though, as objective as Stateless tries to be, there is no getting away from the fact that somewhere along the line, we have lost a bit of our humanity.

Honestly, it's all just a bit heartbreaking, just like Stateless.

Is Stateless Based On A True Story

Yes, Stateless is indeed inspired by true events. The series, which premiered in 2020, centers around four characters whose lives intersect in an Australian immigration detention center.

One of the key storylines is loosely based on the real-life story of Cornelia Rau. She is a German citizen and permanent resident of Australia who was unlawfully detained in 2004.

Cornelia Rau's story was a national scandal in Australia. It highlighted issues within the country's immigration system and treatment of detainees.

In the series, the character inspired by Rau is named Sofie Werner, played by Yvonne Strahovski.

While the show is grounded in real-life events, it is important to note that the series also includes fictional elements and characters to dramatise the series.

Cast Of Stateless TV Series

Yvonne Strahovski as Sofie Werner, a German-Australian who struggles with mental health issues. When she's found in the Australian desert, she is assumed to be illegal and sent to the detention center.

Asher Keddie as Clare Kowitz, a representative of the Department of Immigration who must take charge of the centre.

Dan Spielman as David Meakin, a journalist reporting on the Australian immigration policy and its effects

Fayssal Bazzi as Ahmad Ameer, a refugee from Afghanistan

Soraya Heidari as Mina, Ameer’s eldest daughter

Jai Courtney as Cam Sandford, a struggling dad. Sick of his dead-end job, he becomes a new officer at Barton Immigration Detention Centre

Maria Angelico as Angie Sandford, Cam’s wife

Kate Box as Janice Sandford, Cam’s older sister who is critical of the Australian immigration policy

Darren Gilshenan as Brian Ashworth, the general manager of Barton Immigration Detention Centre

Dominic West as Gordon Masters, co-founder of GOPA, based on Ken Dyers of Kenja Communication

Cate Blanchett as Pat Masters, co-founder of GOPA, based on Jan Hamilton of Kenja Communication


  • Incredibly Thought Provoking
  • Excellent Script & Cast
  • Four Well Told Stories


  • So Difficult To Watch On Multiple Levels
  • Stories Not Given Equal Airtime


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