SBS will launch an ambitious documentary series about the Sydney Vietnamese community in January.
Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta will follow on from the success of Immigration Nation and Go Back to Where You Came From.
In the lead-up to the Vietnamese Lunar New Year on January 23rd, it will be broadcast over three consecutive Sunday nights.
The series will look at how the community has fought back from adversity and found their place in modern Australia will be told for the first time in a new landmark documentary series on SBS.
Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta explores the extraordinary transformation of this south-western Sydney suburb, and how it has contributed to the Australian multicultural success story.
Told for the first time by the community itself, the three-part series features interviews with the youth who got caught up in gang culture, politicians and police who were involved in Cabramatta’s critical moments, and the ordinary people who lived through it all – from the crime and violence, the fear and racism, a heroin epidemic and the first political assassination in Australia’s history, to the fight back as this immigrant community found its voice.
“From a community that was once paralysed by fear, Cabramatta has become a proud example of immigrant success and this new SBS series is set to tell this important Australian story in a compelling and contemporary way,” says SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid.
“Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta will help all Australians understand the challenges and adversities these Vietnamese refugees overcame and the lessons we hope the nation never forgets. It builds on SBS’s commitment to bringing original and thought-provoking documentaries to Australians that contribute to a greater appreciation of our multicultural society,” Mr Ebeid continued.
Beginning with Prime Minister Fraser’s landmark decision to open Australia’s doors to refugees at the end of the Vietnam War, Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta offers a unique insight into the early years. Thousands of Vietnamese were sent to a community not equipped to deal with them and this series follows them into the dark years of the 80s and 90s where murder, kidnappings, drug overdoses and drive-by shootings were a regular occurrence. The Vietnamese people were vilified and demonised as an utterly foreign culture clashing head-on with a white world.
But as the century drew to a close there was a remarkable turnaround as the people of Cabramatta said enough is enough and transformed their community into the multicultural success story it is today.
Begins 8.30pm January 8th 2012 on SBS ONE.