Island Of The Hungry GhostsGabrielle Brady, 98 min, Germany, UK, Australia.
Island of the Hungry Ghosts is a feature length documentary film set on the remote Christmas Island. Poh Lin is a trauma counsellor living on the remote Christmas Island with her young family. Her job is to work with people trying to seek asylum to Australia who have been detained in a high security detention facility, deep within the islands jungle.
The island is one of the last discovered places on earth, with humans having migrated to its shores less than a century ago. The original inhabitants are the forty million land crabs. Pulled by the force of the full moon they begin their epic odyssey from the island’s jungle to its rugged coastline. As Poh Lin and her family explore the island’s powerful and threatening landscape, a disquieting sensation grows. Local islanders carry out their ‘hungry ghost’ rituals for the spirits of those who died on the island without a proper burial. They make offerings to appease the lost souls, who are said to be wandering the jungles at night without a home. In the intimacy of her therapy sessions, Poh Lin feels the oncoming dystopia, as the mental state of her clients begin to unravel.
“Gorgeous… [A] beautifully rendered portrait of an alien landscape… Reality is suspended and in its place Brady’s surrealist dreamscape, shot breathtakingly by Michael Latham, becomes an all-encompassing tribunal on man’s inhumanity to man in a clandestine landscape filled with lost spirits.” – Pamela Cohn, Filmmaker Magazine.com