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Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Gabrielle Brady

Located off the coast of Indonesia, 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. Poh Lin Lee is a ‘trauma therapist’ who lives with her family in this seemingly idyllic paradise. Every day, she talks with the asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high security detention centre hidden in the island’s core, attempting to support them in a situation that is as unbearable as its outcome is uncertain.

"...moves between the beauty of natural migration and the chaotic and often tragic migration of humans."

As Poh Lin and her family explore the island’s beautiful yet threatening landscape, the local islanders carry out their own rituals for the spirits of those who died on the island without a burial, making offerings to appease the lost souls who are said to be wandering the jungles at night looking for home.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts is a unique documentary that moves between the beauty of natural migration and the chaotic and often tragic migration of humans.