Cate Blanchett has co-created and will star in a new 6-part drama about refugee detention in the Australian desert.
The psychological drama, Stateless, centers on four strangers being held in detention: an airline hostess escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught-up in a national scandal.
The series also stars The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Yvonne Strahovski, and will have an all-woman writing and directing team.
Originally inspired by the life of Cornelia Rau, the story intertwines complex personal stories to reveal a system struggling with the the contradictions of immigration and border protection.
Rau, a German-Australian woman and former air hostess, attracted attention in 2005 after she escaped a controversial sect known as Kenja, only to be held at the Baxter detention centre in South Australia as a suspected illegal immigrant.
Blanchett said that while the story was focused on Australia, it explored global themes: “The desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives.”
Blanchett also discussed the project, which has been in the works for several years, during a wide-ranging interview with Women in the World founder and CEO Tina Brown, during the New Delhi summit in 2015.
See Cate Blanchett on the Women in the World stage below: