• Israel’s ‘Asylum City’ stars Hani Furstenberg as investigator Anat Sitton. (SBS)Source: SBS
From asylum seekers in Israel and Finland to stories written by or about Australians and their many and varied family histories, these drama, documentary and comedy series are guaranteed to inform, educate and entertain.
SBS Guide

29 Aug 2019 - 10:44 AM  UPDATED 29 Aug 2019 - 10:44 AM

Asylum City

When a pro-asylum seeker activist turns up dead in Tel Aviv, police detective Anat Sitton (Hani Furstenberg) investigates. The murdered woman happened to encounter the underground mob lending money to stateless immigrants just days before her death. Sitton soon realises the mob has links to much higher realms of politics. Shot on location in South Tel Aviv, Asylum City is based on the bestselling novel by Liad Shoman. Season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand:

Untold Australia

Now into its fourth season, this popular series explores the life-changing milestones of everyday Australians. Six adults with intellectual and learning disabilities embark on the search for love. An Indian–Australian family business patriarch faces pressure from his sons to modernise. Two new recruits at one of Australia’s oldest family-run funeral homes let us in on what it’s like working with the dead – and the living. And a transgender woman attempts to stage Wagga Wagga’s first ever Mardi Gras parade. All four episodes of Untold Australia season 4 are now at SBS On Demand:

Go Back To Where You Came From Live/S3

Ray Martin and SBS World News’ Janice Petersen host this unique live event that first aired over three nights in October 2018. Martin and Petersen cross to participants from Australia with varying opinions about the government’s policy on refugees and asylum seekers, including politician Jacqui Lambie and Marina, herself a refugee and now a refugee lawyer from Sydney, who are on the ground, witnessing life in disputed territories, at border crossings and inside refugee camps. In the face of the world’s largest refugee crisis, the beliefs of all participants are challenged.

Where Are You Really From?

Even though comedian Michael Hing’s family migrated from China over a hundred years ago, he often still gets asked, ‘Where are you really from?’ Exploring issues of racism and integration, but with a playful heart, Hing travels all round our country to talk to the Assyrians in Sydney’s west, the Germans of the Barossa Valley, the Chinese of rural Victoria, and many more communities about their migrant experience. Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand:

Back in The Soviet Bloc

Sydney-based TV producer Julia Nalivaiko was born in Ukraine but grew up in France and Australia. She returns to the bloc to learn about contemporary life in former Soviet nations. In this lushly photographed and fascinating series, Julia visits St Petersburg and Moscow before returning to explore life in the country of her birth.   

On The Ropes

If you missed this Logie-nominated series, now’s your chance to see what all the fuss was about. Iraqi-Australian Amirah Al-Amir (Logie nominee for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress, Nicole Chamoun, Safe Harbour) is an aspiring boxing trainer working in the family gym with her two brothers and father Sami (Igal Naor), former world champion. Battling the patriarchy of the boxing world, as well as her own family in chasing her dream to transform women’s boxing, Amirah goes behind Sami’s back to negotiate a professional debut match for her fighter, Jess (played by Academy Award nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes, Game of Thrones). When Sami finds out, he’s furious and threatens to cut her off.

Even if boxing isn’t your thing, you’ll be cheering on Amirah. Also streaming in Chinese and Arabic, all four episodes of On The Ropes are now at SBS On Demand:

Homecoming Queens

Chinese-Australian Michelle Law developed alopecia as a teenager. Chloë Reeson was diagnosed with breast cancer at 22. When the pair met, they bonded over their shared experiences that no one else their age could understand, and joked they’d one day make something out of it. Homecoming Queens is it. The series stars Law as herself alongside Liv Hewson as Chloë in fictionalised versions of the writers as two best friends who reinvent themselves in the face of chronic illness. This bingeworthy series is charming and funny. All 7 episodes of around 15 minutes each are now at SBS On Demand:


From Finland comes this ten-part political thriller, following Mari Saari (Krista Kosonen), an Intelligence Agency officer who goes undercover to befriend a newly arrived asylum seeker. Presumed dead, the asylum seeker in question happens to be the world’s most wanted terrorist, Madina Taburova (Sibel Kekilli). Mari attempts to win Madina’s trust and discover what she’s doing in Helsinki. The two female leads make this a gripping series:

Who Do You Think You Are?

This popular show is now in its tenth season in Australia. Follow the family stories of Scott Cam, Jennifer Byrne, Marta Dusseldorp, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Casey Donovan, Kurt Fearnley, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Rodger Corser. All eight episodes are now streaming at SBS On Demand, starting with TV presenter Scott Cam, who has Italian heritage:

Every Family Has A Secret

Host Noni Hazlehurst meets six Australians each grappling with a family secret. Ready to face up to the past, they delve deeper until the truth is revealed. Angela Hamilton suspects her father had connections to the Nazis, Sydney woman Li Ying Andrews returns to Taiwan where her uncle abandoned her at an acrobatics school as a child, and Perth journalist Michelle White uncovers her mother’s criminal past. These and other stories are explored in the first season’s three episodes, all now streaming at SBS On Demand:

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