Island of the Hungry Ghosts
The Australian territory of Christmas Island is inhabited by migratory crabs travelling in their millions from the jungle towards the ocean, in a movement that has been provoked by the full moon for hundreds of thousands of years. Every day, Poh Lin, a trauma therapist, talks with the asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high-security detention centre, attempting, relentlessly, to support them in a situation that is as unbearable as its outcome is uncertain.
As Poh Lin and her family explore the island’s powerful and threatening landscape, the local islanders carry out their “hungry ghost rituals” for the spirits of those who died on the island without a burial. They make offerings to appease the lost souls who are said to be wandering the jungles at night looking for home. In the intimacy of her therapy sessions as she listens to the growing sense of despair, she begins to feel the creeping dystopia reverberate through her own life.
Adelaide Film Festival - Flinders University Feature Documentary Award
Edinburgh Film Festival - Special Jury Mention
Tribeca Film Festival - Best Documentary
Valetta Film Festival - Best Documentary
Visions du Reel Festival - Prix Buyens-Chagoll
24th Festival on Wheels