Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca, Gabrielle Brady's feature debut explores the migration of millions of crabs across Christmas Island.

"On a small island in the Indian Ocean, one of the planet’s largest land migrations takes place. Forty million crabs make their way through dense jungle to the rugged coast and, finally, to sea. But 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." (Tribeca Film Festival)

2018Rating: PG, Mild themes98 minsGermany, UK, AustraliaEnglish, Persian, French and Mandarin with English subtitles
DocumentaryFestival & Independent
Director:
Gabrielle Brady (feature debut)
Writer:
Gabrielle Brady

Streaming (2 Providers)

Island of the Hungry Ghosts / Reviews

Flicks, Blake Howard

Flicks, Blake Howard

The opening of Australian documentary Island of the Hungry Ghosts is shrouded in the darkness of wilderness, a squall of the simmering sounds of thick foliage and fauna bubble before a commotion. A person emerges scaling the wire walls surrounding the halogen-lit facility before screaming into the brush. The beastly snarls of freedom, the camera shaking in desperate pursuit. An animal is free. In this case, a human ground into something primal.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

The result is at once acutely distressing and quite lovely, transforming the island into something primitive and inscrutable.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

A fierce, valuable, compassionate film.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

Poetic and impressionistic, this is urgent, angry filmmaking that reaches for something transcendent in its exploration of the conflict between precarious, precious nature and deeply human evil.

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Little White Lies

Little White Lies

Aesthetically speaking, all the footage here is worthwhile, it's just the film makes its point a little too swiftly and obviously.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Island of the Hungry Ghosts casts an undeniably hypnotic spell. The documentary also serves as an important reminder that the United States is far from alone in mistreating its would-be immigrants.

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