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.... More

"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)Hide

  • Directed by Gabrielle Brady (feature debut)

    Written by Gabrielle Brady

    • Documentary, Festival & Independent
    • 98mins
    • Rating: PG Mild themes
    • English, Persian, French and Mandarin with English subtitles
    • Germany, UK, Australia

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The Press Reviews

  • A fierce, valuable, compassionate film. Full Review

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

  • 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. Full Review

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

  • 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. Full Review