Parents' Guide to


By Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Challenging immigration drama has violence, nudity.

TV Netflix Drama 2020
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Stateless features four storylines, focused on a quartet of different characters. In addition to Sofie Werner -- based on a real-life Australian woman accidentally imprisoned as an immigrant on her own soil -- it digs into the difficult lives of an Afghan refugee and his family, a newly-hired detention center guard, and the woman tasked with running the facility. Much of the drama unfolds within the camp, where we follow the day-to-day struggles of the detainees', as well as the challenges faced by the facility's stressed-out employees.The individual stories here are all pretty absorbing on their own, but they become more engaging once they begin to interconnect and affect each other. The series is at its best when the four protagonists connect -- or conflict -- with each other.

The raw, often uncomfortable depiction of life within the walls of the detention center also injects a degree of authenticity that complements the excellent performances. Sadly, the rich, nuanced storytelling is often overshadowed by Sofie's tale, which can feel tonally different from the other story threads; where much of the series supports an almost docu-drama feel, her story feels more like a serialized mystery. Still, if you're interested in the relevant topic of illegal immigration and what the potential perspective is from both sides of the wall, Stateless is a worthy watch.

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