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Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Film Synopsis: Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Deeply moving documentary contrasting lush nature and expansive soundscapes with the trauma of displacement and detention.
Christmas Island hosts one of the planet’s largest annual land migrations: that of forty million red crabs scurrying to the sea. Today the island is also home to a much darker presence: a high-security detention facility where those seeking asylum in Australia are held indefinitely.
Through the eyes of her protagonist, trauma counsellor Poh Lin, director Gabrielle Brady explores the island’s stunning landscapes, its violent past and its inescapable present. Extracts of detainees’ therapy sessions expose the brutality, isolation and hopelessness inherent in Australia’s indefinite detention policy (a policy espoused by the UK) while Brady’s camera captures the relentless force of the crabs’ own journey.
As conflicts, climate change and inequality continue fuelling humans’ search for safer spaces, this is powerful call for a more humane welcome.
This film received support from the Bertha Film Fund and the Guardian Bertha Documentary Partnership.
Beyond the Screen
We are delighted to be welcoming the films director Gabrielle Brady and protagonist Poh Lin, in conversation after the film to explore how we can offer a better welcome for those seeking refuge on our shores and how our own immigration law operates here in Scotland.