Island Of The Hungry Ghosts
Time & Location
About the Event
Off the coast of Indonesia, the Australian territory of Christmas Island hosts one of the planet’s largest land migrations. Provoked by the full moon for hundreds of thousands of years, forty million crabs make their way through dense jungle to the rugged coast and, finally, to sea. However, Christmas Island’s sublime beauty hides another, darker presence: The Australian government runs a high-security detention facility deep within the island’s jungles, where asylum-seekers wait indefinitely to hear whether they can continue on to Australia. Meanwhile, local islanders carry out “hungry ghost” rituals for the spirits of those who died on the island without receiving a proper burial.
Gabrielle Brady’s hypnotic documentary focuses on Poh Lin—a trauma therapist who works with inmates of the detention center. Following Lin as she explores the island and works with her clients, attempting to support them in a situation that is as unbearable as its outcome is uncertain. In the intimacy of her therapy sessions, as Poh Lin listens to the growing sense of despair of the people she counsels, she begins to feel the creeping dystopia reverberate through her own life.
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is a hybrid documentary that moves between the natural migration of the red crabs and the chaotic and tragic migration of the humans, both of which are in constant metamorphoses determined by unseen decision-making structures.