Island of the Hungry Ghosts

The tiny Christmas Island, belonging to Australia, is undergoing its annual wave of migration when 50 million Christmas Island red crabs head from the shelter of the jungle to the sea to continue their species. At the same time thousands of refugees are held in detention centres with no knowledge of tomorrow. They have travelled through hell only to end up in limbo.

The documentary follows torture and trauma counsellor Poh Lin Lee, whose office is a place where refugees talk about the persecutions in their home country, the horrors of their escape and the conditions of the detention centre. ”We are people, we must protest”, says the man who stitched his lips together. They are in a situation where they only have power over their own lives. When a patient does not arrive for their appointment, one must expect the worst.

Gabrielle Brady’s first feature is a dream-like and breathtakingly beautiful documentary about Christmas Island and human nature. While the islanders protect the crabs’ journey, Lee is afraid that the help she offers is only a Band-Aid that postpones the inevitable.

Sanni Myllyaho / Translation: Miia Mäkelä

Language: English, French, Mandarin, Persian
Subtitles: English (partly)

  • Director: Gabrielle Brady
  • Country: Australia, UK, Germany
  • Year: 2018
  • Length: 98 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Michael Latham
  • Editing: Katharina Fiedler
  • Music: Leo Dolgan
  • Production: Alexander Wadouh / Chromosom film


  • Cinema Artis, hall 1 : Saturday, 02.02 - 20:00