Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Gabrielle Brady
DEU, GBR, Australia 2018
94 min

Christmas Island, an isolated part of the world, located between Indonesia and Australia, is one of the of-territory sites Australia uses to detain people seeking refuge or asylum (or a better life) on its territory proper. The tropical island is also the site of another kind of migration: Usually at the beginning of the wet season thousands of red crabs make their way from the forest to the sea shore, a passage that finds protection from the people on Christmas Island. In one scene in Gabrielle Brady’s documentary we see her protagonist, the therapist Poh Lin Lee, carefully clearing the road in order to avoid crab roadkill. Her main task on the island (and her vocation, we may surmise) is to help some of the detainees on the island, who suffer from the uncertainty of their status, and who often react by harming themselves. Poh Lin Lee ofers an original therapy using a sandbox as a device to address trauma. ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is as much a subtly radical political documentary as it is a deeply moving meditation on extreme conditions in a place haunted by ghosts of all kind – the biggest ghost being the unjust world order against which there is no easy offering. (Bert Rebhandl)

  • Poh Lin Lee
  • Gabrielle Brady
  • Michael Latham
  • Leo Dolgan
  • Katharina Fiedler
  • Aaron Cupples
Chromosom Film, Third Films, Various Films, Echotango

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