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Manus Refugees Ask ScoMo 'Where The Bloody Hell Are You?'

Four Manus Island refugees have laid into Scott Morrison, starring in a satirical video poking fun at the Prime Minister.

In the time they've have been detained on Manus Island, they've had a lot of time to think.

Shamindan Kanapathi, who has spent five-and-a-half years on the Papua New Guinean island, has thought a lot about his mode of transport.

"Do you want to go by boat or plane?" Amin Abofotila asked.

"By plane," replied a third, Omar Mohammed Jack, as others cheered.

Aussie comedian Dan Ilic travelled to Manus Island where he filmed the young men. They're smiling and upbeat, but have one important question for the prime minister:

Image: A Rational Fear

It's one Morrison might be familiar with. Back in 2004, when he was head of Tourism Australia, he asked the world the same question in that famous ad campaign with Lara Bingle.

READ MORE: Dan Ilic: 1300-Who-The-F**K-Is-PM? The Number To Call When You're In Doubt

This time around, it was slightly different.

"These boys are charming, funny guys who are incredibly smart and have arguably spent  the prime of their life wasting away on this island," Ilic told 10 daily.

"I wanted to paint them in a different light to the way we normally see them."

The satirical video wasn't entirely planned. Ilic travelled to Manus Island on a tourist visa on January 26 to produce other videos, when he had the idea.

"It was Australia Day, so I thought there might be something we could do," he said.

"I had a blow-up kangaroo, some flags and more Aussie paraphernalia in my bag ... turns out we used all of it!"

The young men are filmed laughing with each other as they joke about their time on the island.

"We learn [sic] some Australian culture," Abofotila said.

"Fair dinkum, fair go," they chanted, as he waved an Aussie flag.

Image: A Rational Fear

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It was an approach that didn't sit well, at first.

"In the past when these boys have done media where they're seen smiling and having a good time, they have copped pressure from other refugees inside the camp," Ilic said, but added they were pleased with the final product.

"The reality is these boys aren't having a good time on the island; they're having a good time with the friends in the context of where they live."

Ilic ran into some issues when he was caught by immigration officials while shooting.

"When they asked me what I was doing, I said I make comedy videos. They said, 'that doesn't sound funny'," he said.

"I said, 'that's what I do; I make jokes about the saddest of things.'"

Image: Refugee Action Coalition

Ilic published the video as Paladin staff at immigration centres on the island walked off the job -- timing that brought home his message.

"They've wasted six years of their life being the political pawn of Australian politicians," he said.

"I’m proud there is content out there that doesn’t paint these guys as sad people but as charming, good people who are in the worst situation." 

Featured image: A Rational Fear

Contact the author ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au