**WINNER** Best Documentary History, Social and Political Issues - 2011 ATOM Awards
In late winter 2001, the crew of the Norwegian tanker the Tampa pulled more than 400 refugees out of a fishing boat that was sinking off the north-west coast of Australia. The refugees demanded to be taken to Christmas Island. As the captain complied, the Australian authorities radioed. They threatened to seize his ship and throw him in prison if he entered Australian waters. The order had come from the very top.
The decision to stop the Tampa was one of the most popular ever taken by any Australian government. So this film is also very much about us – and the old dance of democracy between the people and our leaders. And its fundamental puzzle – who is leading and who is following?
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