The Man Who Jumped, Tuesday, January 24

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Melinda Houston

SBS One, 9.30pm
Sadly, one suspects that even if people who loathe ”boat people” watch this, it’s unlikely to change their minds. For we latte sippers, though, who are deeply concerned about Australia’s treatment of refugees, The Man Who Jumped is a thorough, thoughtful and timely study of our refugee policies, framed by the case study of Mazhar Ali. On Australia Day 2002, Ali jumped from the perimeter fence of the Woomera detention camp into rolls of razor wire. It was the final, desperate act in a campaign to raise public awareness of the plight of Woomera’s Hazara refugees and, frankly, its aftermath is every bit as depressing as its origins. But while the content is heartbreaking, this is a compelling piece of filmmaking and an important one, too, reminding us that while politicians continue to haggle over variations on the ”Pacific solution”, traumatised human beings are suffering.

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