‘Stateless’ Review: Cate Blanchett’s Detainee Netflix Drama Gets Distracted by Its Wild Truths

‘Stateless’ Review: Cate Blanchett’s Detainee Netflix Drama Gets Distracted by Its Wild Truths
Stateless” lives and dies with its true story. Co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres, and Elise McCredle, the new Netflix limited series draws inspiration from the life of Cornelia Rau, a former flight attendant whose 10-month imprisonment in an Australian immigration detention center sparked national debate down under. How did a local resident end up detained on her own soil for nearly a year?

To its credit, “Stateless” doesn’t tease out that question like a mystery, but the answers still prove too outrageous to ignore — and too distracting from the series’ ultimate focus. When Aussies learned that one of their own had been mistakenly detained in 2005, it drew massive and much-needed attention to a cruel and deeply flawed immigration system. Suddenly, the persecution of asylum-seekers wasn’t a problem for “outsiders”; it was a problem for everyone.

Stateless” tries to reignite that same urgent response by replicating the same story,
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