Island of the Hungry Ghosts

This event took place Mar 13 - Mar 20, 2019

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

Gabrielle Brady
Germany, UK & Australia
1h 38m


** Co-presented with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project! Best Documentary Feature – Tribeca Film Festival 2018 **

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.

Gabrielle Brady’s hypnotic documentary focuses on Poh Lin—a trauma therapist who works with inmates of the detention center. Following Lin as she explores the island and speaks to her clients, Brady brings together the island’s violent past, Lin’s therapy sessions, and the relentless drive of the migrating crabs in a sharply beautiful, haunting meditation on how a place can reflect its own past and present.

Description courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival



“It’s a potent, profoundly moving approach to an extensively covered subject. And it’s a timely reminder that a society must be judged by the way it treats the desperate and vulnerable.” – Wendy Ide, Observer

“While a subject like imprisonment and the exile of asylum seekers could succumb to Alan Jones style bullying, Island of the Hungry Ghosts chooses an altogether different route. It’s a lure; a tug at your very soul.” – Blake Howard,

“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.” – Tom Augustine, New Zealand Herald

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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