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'Welcome to paradise': Asylum seekers, neoliberalism, nostalgia and Lucky Miles

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This article considers the Australian film Lucky Miles (2007) in the context of the developing emphasis in Australia through the 1990s and 2000s on neoliberal policies. This emphasis started with the Labor governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and was qualitatively reinforced by the conservative coalition government of John Howard. Lucky Miles is a film which narratives the experience of asylum seekers arriving on the Australian mainland. My focus is particularly on the impact of neoliberalism on the role of the border and on the popular attitude towards asylum seekers. To help develop this argument I also consider the film Children of Men (2006), which is set in Britain in a dystopian future. I analyse Lucky Miles to understand how it replicates anxieties about asylum seekers and the porosity of the border that are, at bottom, a consequence of changing attitudes bred by neoliberal policies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Cultural Studies, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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