By Sarah Finney
THE YEAR IS 2020 is an electrifying new film that takes Brisbane performance poet Anisa Nanduala’s searing critique of Australia’s refugee policies and brings it to life, imagining an alarming future in which Australia is a war zone.
A striking collaboration between Anisa Nandaula and filmmakers Bill+Brown. In a bold piece of performance poetry, Nandaula uses a metaphorical Australian civil war to speak to the unjustness of Australia’s refugee policies.
Directed by filmmaking team James L Brown ACS and Bill Irving (Bill+Brown), a creative duo with a drive for socially conscious work, THE YEAR IS 2020 is an uncompromising call-out of the fear and racism that informs Australia’s refugee policies from a powerful new local voice.
Released online, THE YEAR IS 2020 challenges us to confront the broader issues of identity, race and fear that continues to underscore national political debate and immigration policy in Australia.
Screening exclusively and freely online at www.theyearis2020.com.au, THE YEAR IS 2020 is based on Nanduala’s poem of the same name which she performs to camera juxtaposed with powerful metaphorical imagery that imagines an Australia torn apart by conflict in a stirring four minute film.
Bill+Brown have taken the beauty and brutality of Nanduala’s poem and imagined a situation that none of us hope for, yet one that is the reality for over six million displaced people on Earth. The passive violence of inaction is etched in the film’s powerful imagery, and in the faces of a young cast, many of whom have been touched by the conflicts the poem speaks to.
Says Anisa Nanudala, “I wrote the poem because the refugee crisis is so far removed from the psyche of the everyday Australian and I wanted to create a poem that brings the issue closer to home.”
Adds Bill+Brown, “Our goal was to craft scenes and moments that elevate the power of Anisa’s words. We felt that keenly as a responsibility. To support her. She is the rockstar. We are the rhythm section. Our film craft is her platform. This project was an awesome opportunity to help Anisa deliver a punch in the guts to racism in Australia. Australia is changing and Anisa is the face of that change. Our hope is that people watch this film and engage with her work. She is the voice Australia needs right now.”
Behind the scenes: