Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Gabrielle Brady. 2018, 98 mins. Digital projection. Located off the coast of Indonesia, the Australian territory of Christmas Island is inhabited by migratory crabs travelling by the millions from the jungle towards the ocean, motivated by the cycles of the moon for hundreds of thousands of years. This seemingly idyllic paradise is also home to asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high-security detention center hidden in the island’s core, where trauma therapist Poh Lin Lee attempts 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 beautiful yet threatening landscape, the local islanders carry out their “hungry ghost” rituals for the spirits of those who died on the island without a burial, and remain lost and wandering throughout the jungle. Visually ravishing and emotionally gripping, Gabrielle Brady’s debut feature mines the terrain between raw observation and collaborative performance, resulting in an utterly unique artistic exploration of a singular place. Winner Best Documentary, 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
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