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Marking Time Essay

Marking Time is an Australian mini TV series written by John Doyle and was aired on ABC in 2003. It’s based on a small town called Brakley. The story is told through the eyes of an 18 year old named Hal. Hal falls in love with an Afghani girl, Randa, who recently fled her own country with her father to escape the Taliban. The two face racism and taunts by their community, whose views are influenced greatly by the media and politicians that are expressed during historical events taking place at the time.

Soon after 9/11 occured, their home was set on fire by arsonists. Hal’s family let them stay in their home and Randa needed comforting, but Hal and Randa were found in bed together the next morning. Their refugee status got later denied and they were orderd to return to Afghanistan. Hal then went over seas to look for her. This mini-series reflects what’s happening in the world during the years 2000 and 2001 by representing the small town of Brakley as a microcosm. It shows the attitudes Australian’s have towards Asylum seekers.

Hal is educated about what’s really going on by his father and his fathers girlfriend and therefore see’s Randa for the person she really is, rather than just a refugee or ‘boatie’ apparently causing trouble. Everyone else in Brackley don’t have the right education and are believing everything the media and politicians are saying about them. The aim of this series is to make us question the information we get fed us, and to hopefully change the assumptions we place on refugees.

Marking Time covers the events surrounding the Afghanistan war and Australia’s involvement. This included historical and political events. These events include The 2000 Olympic games and the re-election of the Howard government, The Tampa Crisis, the 9/11 Terrror attack and the Children Overboard affair. These events also include the social aspects in Brakley which led the town to behave in such ways. Australia was the host of the 2000 Olympic games.

During this period there was a lot of conflicting opinions regarding the refugee policy as more refugees headed our way. There was also a lot of argument regarding what Australia’s part in the war in Afghanistan was. These two tied together led to suspicion of other cultures, especially refugees. People had little knowledge with what was going on in the war in Afghanistan and about refugees and what they were going through. The social attitude towards what was happening was very mixed.

People didn’t have the knowledge for a different view point and they found it hard to understand what was going on, and how they should be responding. Politicians have a large impact on how a society acts towards everything. It’s very easy to believe what they say about anything, especially if all the news were saying the same thing. The Prime Minister of the time, John Howard put the ideas that George W Bush was using in America on Australia. These ideas were that refugees coming to the country were terrorists.


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