Island of the Hungry Ghosts

DIRECTOR(S): Gabrielle Brady   COUNTRIES: Germany, United Kingdom, Australia   YEAR: 2018   LANGUAGE(S): Chinese, English, Farsi, French   SUBTITLES: German   RUNNING TIME: 98 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019


Saturday, 05.10., 1.00 pm, Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus
Wednesday, 09.10., 8.00 pm, kinoeins


Located off the coast of Indonesia, the Australian territory of Christmas Island is inhabited by migratory crabs travelling in their millions from the jungle towards the ocean, in a movement that has been provoked by the full moon for hundreds of thousands of years.
Poh Lin Lee is a trauma therapist who lives with her family in this seemingly idyllic paradise. Every day, she talks with the asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high-security detention center hidden in the island’s core, attempting 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. They make offerings to appease the lost souls who are said to be wandering the jungles at night looking for home.
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is a hybrid documentary that moves between the natural migration and the chaotic and tragic migration of the humans, which is in constant metamorphoses by the unseen decision-making structures.


Gabrielle Brady is an Australian/British filmmaker who currently lives part time in Berlin. Gabrielle studied Documentary Direction for three years at the International Film School in Cuba where she made several short films (Broken Pants, Milagro und Fall). Gabrielle has previously studied Theater Performance. Her first feature length film Island of the Hungry Ghosts has won several awards including Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018, the Buyens-Chagoll Award at Visions du Réel 2018, Grand Jury Prize at Mumbai International Film Festival and the IDFA Human Rights Award. The film was nominated for a Cinema Eye Spotlight Award and an Award for best Sound and Cinematography at the Australian Academy Awards.


Los pantalones rotos (2013), Static Miracles (2014), The Island (2017), Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018)

SCRIPT: Gabrielle Brady   PRODUCERS: Alex Wadouh, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Gizem Acarla, Gabrielle Brady   CAMERA: Michael Latham   EDITOR: Katharina Fiedler   MUSIC: Aaron Cupples

PRODUCTION: Chromoson Film , Third Film UK, Echotango Australia, Various Films    WORLD SALES: Stephanie Fuchs, Autlook Filmsales   GERMAN DISTRIBUTOR: Verena von Stackelberg, Wolf Kino