Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018) Movie Script

A two day police search has ended with the
discovery of a man's body at the bottom of a cliff
on one of the islands remote beaches.
Authorities have not released the man's name
but it is believed, he was a
detainee in the offshore facility
on Christmas Island, for more than five years.
The department of border control
says service providers staff
have reported what they called,
an illegal maritime arrival
escaping the centre early on Saturday morning.
The department confirmed the
man's death on Sunday evening
and said the matter is now being
investigated by the Coroner.
Reporting for Nation Australian radio.
- The sand that we use in the boxes...
it's what we consider to be the
smallest particles of earth.
You imagine that every grain of sand that we see
you know, used to be part of
rocks, mountains, formations
and now they're down into their finest form.
- How does the sand feel, is it cool or warm?
I think it's, it's, it's, like cold.
- Cold. Yeah.
- Does it feel soft or hard or sharp or
It feels...
I like the sound, you know.
- The sound
Yeah, because I guess the sound
you know it reminds me
of the waves.
-Hmmm Yeah.
I think.
- Go with your feeling.
- Go with your feeling.
- and that doesn't mean you have to keep moving.
- If you feel like that's
enough, then that's enough.
- But if there's a another feeling like
that you're drawn to, try to follow it.
- Hmm.
- What do you notice as you look at your picture?
- What do you notice?
I think this is the life that we left behind.
- Hmm.
- When you look at this picture, all of it.
- Does it feel complete for you?
- Or is there something missing
or is something in the wrong place.
- Have a good look.
- Park Space, this is
Parks Two. Do you receive?
Hey Parks Two, do you copy?
- Can you give us an
update at Ethel beach mate?
- Alright thank you.
On your way back can you do the red sign
and just put on Ethel is closed.Thank you.
Copy that.
- Mama crabs.
Yeah mama alright.
You can tell like.
This one here carries a lot
more than the other ones.
Come here.
- They're so much smaller.
Smaller, but see how big they are?
Yeah, I say another day or two..tomorrow.
Look at this mom as well.
You see they can't cross the road.
We need to find something so that they can cross.
Maybe if we look around for
some Timber or whatever.
Ahh, so they can cross across it.
So, make a bridge. Make a bridge for them.
Otherwise they're not going to get across.
Watch out crabby.
Just put it anywhere.
We're making a bridge for them.
Oh no. They're so
fast when they're little.
- We just, as much as we want to do
we're just helping them out that's all.
Poppy must be tired she's still asleep.
Good morning.
- Look at the mommy.
- Mamma, look at the mummy.
- Look.
- Mummy.
- What's the mummy doing?
- Working.
- Just like your mommy.
I think Pappas coming.
He won't see us.
Oh no, my foots out the bottom, ahhh.
Just like me.
I can't get my foot in.
'We can turn there.'
'We can't camp next
to the Detention Center.'
'We're not allowed to.'
'Oh.' 'Yeah.'
'The Detention Centre has
people that guard the gates
because people that are staying in there
are not allowed to come out.'
'They can't come out.'
'No. Not unless the guards say they can.'
'How minutes you can stay?'
'What do you mean?'
'How many minutes?'
'Can the people stay?
Sometimes they stay for a couple of months.
Other times, for years.'
'Years?' 'Yeah.'
Good thing we wore jeans.
Lets hop on the mountain.
See if we can find any pumpkins Alby.
- What's happened to
the world famous pumpkin hunter?
- Just too early for them.
- No there's one
hiding here. I'm sure of it.
- Very gently and slowly Alby.
- Do you know this could be almost
70 years old this crab.
- It's like your granddad or your grandma.
- Come on girls, let's go.
Yeah, but we haven't
had dinner yet darling.
Can you imagine what these robber
crabs have seen in their lifetime.
Nope. Humans?
Yeah, they saw the first people
that arrived on the island.
Well, if they're up to 100 years old,
they'd have seen the first people.
'When you put your hands in the sand'
it's to follow what feels right
and to keep going with what feels good.
If something doesn't feel okay
that you stop for yourself.
You don't wait for me to stop you. Yeah.
- Okay. Does that make sense?
- Yep. Yep.
So, any questions so far.
- What sort of sand it is?
- This is sand from the beach.
- Awesome.
- Yeah, sand that I collected.
- I don't know if you've ever been,
out on Christmas Island.
- But this is from Muriel Beach.
Have you been to Muriel beach before?
No. - No, it's a very very small Beach
- and you can only get to it when
the tide is out, when the water is out.
Ahh okay, is this in Christmas
Island, Muriel beach?
-Yeah, yeah. Yeah...
- So I collect it there,
I wash it and, prepare it for the tray.
- Hmmm.
- Ok it's
- like, in a, peaceful country.
- So there's no fight.
- Everything is okay and
the community live there.
They're secure and the country is secure. Hmmm.
They can have this nature, grain and all the time
because, in this country no one had a
like no other problems, security problems.
That's why it's nice and beautiful
grew up everyday improving.
But in a country is all the
time fight like my country.
I don't remember one day of peace in my country
everyday everything happening.
-You don't remember one day. No.
-Of Peace
Like, you know, every night news is
not good.
Like everyday innocent people get killed.
And also the country goes like this
no nature like
it's all sand and the buildings
destroyed and you know.
The difference between this and this, is
too much.
It's really hard for me, like
I never been away, one lunch or...
breakfast or dinner.
I always, always at home, around family
eat together, and you know.
But now it's like it's like
almost, nearly four years.
like I didn't celebrate anything with them.
It's a bit hard.
Yeah, but it's good. I've got friends now.
Keep me
in touch and, spend time.
- I can just hear how precious,
your family are to you.
Hello. - Detention ops.
Oh hello, it's umm, Poh Lin here.
I'm one of the torture and trauma counsellors
from the community hospital.
How are you today? - Good thanks, how are you?
Not too bad.
I'm just calling we had
some appointments for 10:30
but, it's now 10 to 11, and there's no sign of them.
I just wondered if you could check on that for us.
- Err yep, just a moment.
Okay, thanks.
- Okay. Errrr...
No, there's no one listed
here for that time sorry.
No appointments?
- No appointments.
Right, ummm.
Well we've definitely sent
through the, the booking request
and we had people, yesterday afternoon.
So I'm not quite sure why, that's happening
are they, are they on island still
are you able to check that please.
- Ah sorry no, I'm not able to check that.
But if you could just let us
know if they're on island or not
so we can follow up.
- I'm, I'm not actually allowed to
give you that information sorry.
Right okay?
Have you heard from transport this morning?
Has there been an issue?
- I, I can't disclose
any further information sorry.
Okay, no worries.
I'll umm, I'll give transport a call and a...
check in with the HLO.
And umm, yep try and find where they are.
Thanks anyway. - OK.
All right - No worries.
Bye. - Thanks, bye.
What is it in the rubbish?
It's flags.
It's what, uncle?
They're burning some offerings.
and what Uncle was saying before
this is like, for the new year.
So they make these offerings,
so that the ghosts are happy
and the ghosts don't go and bother other people.
What is a ghost?
Is a ghost the animal or the ghost is the...
When a person dies the Chinese belief is that
the ghost leaves the body, yeah.
So it's like something you can't see
but it's around us.
Does that make sense?
But I can't see any ghosts.
No, we can't see them with our eyes.
- Why?
- Because they're no longer body.
- They're no longer like you, like your body.
- It's like, kind of like air
or clouds or something.
You okay babe?
- What's wrong?
Do you remember that boat,
that went down last week.
- At night, yeah.
- Yeah, of course.
There, was a young man
Ahh, that I met today who, was on that boat.
and umm...
- He was talking about
Like all those hours in darkness on the water.
He managed to hold on to something that time.
and umm...
It was just the way that he described when the
the first light was
coming, like when they could first see
what was happening.
And like I think
maybe what
32, or so, people
drowned off that boat.
He explained to me that
As the light first came up,
the water was still like
like oil, it was, slick and dark.
In fact, he didn't see the, the sharks, he
he heard the people, their screams, as they were,
and I just sat there thinking like
if I was in that situation, I
don't know whether I would
let go of the
like let go and just
sink, drown or whether
like, you would wait for your turn, to see if
the shark takes you or not.
It was really hard to sit with that.
I don't know, maybe he'll come back next week or
maybe they'll move him.
It's the usual, never knowing.
You don't know if you've got one moment
one conversation or
two years of conversations.
I'm exhausted.
Not much you could do babe.
- Roger, and clear, that's it for now.
- I'll let you know when
there's more, coming through.
You got any more coming?
Stop there by that one.
- That's good,
I'll let you know when I need ya.
- Yeah alright.
- Should be here in a couple
of minutes.Tell him to stop.
I've got a car coming up mate in a minute
so then I'll escort you through ok.
Is that alright? So if you wanna just
put it there, just go to the other side
and I'll come with you.
Hey boss boss, you copy.
- Hold
them there until the next ones
- come through from the opposite direction.
- There's some coming through now
Esme will bring them through.
- How is it, to talk to me today?
- Yeah, I feel like even if I talk
for a couple of days and constant.
I wouldn't get empty. I feel like my inner..
is full of all those experiences,
stories and bitter experiences.
- Is it okay to ask a question?
- I guess I'm curious about, as a mother and son.
- Is there a way that you particularly
look at each other?
- Is there a way that you hold each other?
- Do you sing, do you pray, what do you do together
to experience connection
even when the conditions around are so chaotic?
- Yeah, yeah.
- His character, he's a
very kind and sensitive boy
and he's very intelligent and smart as well
and as a mom, by just holding and hugging him
it was giving both sides comfort.
- So that was something that you
could give each other both ways.
How old was Zane, when you first arrived?
- It's ok ok.
- As we've talked before
it's not illegal to seek asylum.
- And it's not acceptable
to experience punishment
for requesting safety and protection.
It's ok.
- Have you had any contact from anyone
about them or they just have been no shows.
- Well I did the normal,
like I rang detention ops
and they were like, it's an issue with transport
so I rang transport and they
said it's an issue with
with detention operations and
I sent through the list of
names and boat ID numbers.
- Yep.
- and just got a
really short email back saying
cannot advise if they are
or where they, are currently placed.
Or on or off Island.
-Yeah. -Yeah ok.
- So. -So, it's gradually being reduced isn't it.
All of our information. -Have you had any?
Nothing, I just keep being referred to
the policy, and the secrecy.
- Privacy policy of Immigration.
- At least two years ago, three years ago
we felt we could make a difference.
- I know it's now got to the point where
we feel like we're just being
here as a little prop for the
immigration, tick their box.
- I know it's incredibly hard to do worthy work.
And to ignore our recommendations
week, after week, after week
as we just have to watch someone
just deteriorate and
have no ability to prevent it.
- I didn't think that I would
ever work in a context where
you, like..
you know, at least in other places
as difficult as it was
you could hope to see some improvement
over time. I...
It sounds awful, but sometimes
it's hard to come in
because I don't know that I want to see
the people that I care about
worse than the previous week. -Yeah.
Lawyers and asylum
seeker advocates are concerned
about new laws that will apply from tomorrow
affecting staff of immigration
detention centres.
Government contracted workers
risk up to two years in jail
if they disclose what they see.
This new law effectively turns
the Australian department of immigration
into a secret security organisation
with police powers.
It will prevent anyone working in
immigration detention centres
that is international human rights bodies,
doctors, teachers, councillors
from raising concerns about asylum seekers
about the conditions inside the facilities
they could go to jail for up to 2 years.
So, it will definitely have a chilling effect.
You okay babe? Yep.
I just thought of something.
Where are we camping?
Just there in the sun, at the bottom?
Yeah, alright.
How about, just here?
- Sure.
Well I kind of
imagined a place where the
girls could just scream too.
With no, no limit.
Well, I think you found that.
'The locals make their offerings
to those who have died.'
'Those who have lost their lives in the island
and the oceans surrounding.'
'The wandering spirits.'
'The hungry ghosts.'
'Those stuck between worlds.'
'Trapped between homes.'
'What offering will it take
to free those Spirits, from uncertainty?'
- It's alright.
And as you say that to me
You talk about having the two face
that you show power to your family
when you said your mother met you
even though she couldn't hop up
she, smiled at you.
Sounds like she was also
-She was doing that. trying to protect you.
Is that what gets you through?
School drives open.
Switch them round, yep.
North West Point.
Road is closed.
Maddock Knoll, is that open?
Aye, that's open.
- Here?
I'm going to put this by the side.
Perfect. Does that make sense?
We've put so many
recommendations that he's not okay.
He's not okay to be transferred.
He needs to go the mainland.
It happened the same today as well, it's..
Yeah. Only had one person come today.
I love these people
dearly, but I'm not prepared to
be complicit in some way, with the system.
Can't just keep propping someone up mentally
forever, when there's complete uncertainty.
You know like someone in prison has a sentence
they have a time frame.
They know when they're going
to get out. But indefinite, like..
Can you imagine trying to get your head around
no certainty?
The day becomes the month,
becomes the year, becomes the decade.
When time is like that
your whole mental faculties
start to break down.
It's the first place I've worked where
even though you're doing really good therapy
you're seeing them decline.
You seeing them going from being fit and capable
to, talking about suicide ideation.
And they get this real deep
desire to end their life.
But I tell you what,
when your life is the only thing
that you have choice over in the end?
You'd probably contemplate it too.
Mama, are there crabs in the water?
Not red crabs, no. Other crabs maybe.
What like crabs?
You know the ones you see on the rocks.
No. Brown ones.
Oh yeah brown.
And they live in the water?
Just on the rocks I think,
but they can go under the water.
- Do you want to go back?
They're not in the waves?
- It's rough today.
- Come on, lets go.
No, it's a...
Mommy can't do, this work anymore.
It's not possible.
Because umm
I've reached a point where
the people I want to help
I can't anymore.
Ahh, there's lots of
lots of things going on, but umm.
But you know my job is about
trying to help some people and
if I can't do that then
it's time for us to go somewhere else.
-That's, Poppy and Albertine.
Can we give that one, to the op shop?
We can't take everything.
I like that one and I keep it.
And keep that bag and Albertine bag.
So maybe we put the things up
here that we're going to take.
Are we taking this book or not? Yep.