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351 Ratings

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Directed by Gabrielle Brady
Germany, United Kingdom, 2018


On Christmas island, one of the planet’s largest land migrations takes place. Forty million crabs make their way through dense jungle to the sea. But the island’s sublime beauty hides another, darker presence: the Australian government runs a high-security detention facility for asylum-seekers.

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Island of the Hungry Ghosts Directed by Gabrielle Brady

Awards & Festivals

Tribeca Film Festival

2018 | Winner: Best Documentary Feature

Edinburgh International Film Festival

2018 | Special Mention: Best Documentary Feature Film

Critics reviews

As an Australian citizen, I am already well aware of the torturous conditions (they have been condemned by the UN) and illegal practices that take place in and serve to protect on and offshore detention centres from international scrutiny. As such, I found the film’s approach to its subject matter, through visual metaphor and with only a few actual interviews, deeply lacking.
February 01, 2019
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So many are on-the-nose that when a filmmaker rethinks how she confronts a social problem, as Gabrielle Brady does in The Island of Hungry Ghosts, it’s a legitimate thrill. Besides the evocative title, the Australian director gives her film a rich and hypnotic atmospheric pull that potently captures the uncanny vibe of its forbidding yet Edenic location.
September 24, 2018
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The mixture of aesthetic, subject, island location and narrative arc echo the work of Berlin Golden Bear winner Gianfranco Rosi and his Fire at Sea.
April 24, 2018
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