Like so many other well-meaning white people, Professor Garrod’s motives in going to Rwanda are ostensibly good. Having lost the sense of meaning and purpose he once derived from his Ivy League professorship, he decides to go to Africa to ‘make a difference’. The film charts the months of rehearsals and, over time, his altruistic veneer slips. Just under the surface, a mindset that’s essentially that of the early colonialist – namely the missionary – begins to emerge.
Last month, revelations made in a Senate inquiry by Transfield Services, the company contracted to run the Nauru detention centre, illustrated how the Australian government’s callousness and immorality on the issue of asylum seekers is beginning to infect the national consciousness.