a culturally wealthy supernatural drama

a culturally wealthy supernatural drama
27 March 2024 J.W.H

“We all have our ghosts,” my grandmother used to say. Sometimes, nonetheless, the pain of past traumas can permeate from generation to generation, haunting your entire family. – Maj Le

The fifteenth night of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is a standard Buddhist and Taoist day. Hungry Ghost Festivalwhen the gates of hell open and ghosts roam the earth.

Families honor and appease their ancestors through remembrance, prayer and sacrifice. But it’s also a time of caution, in order that wronged spirits don’t seek revenge.

In a brand new supernatural drama Hungry Ghostsdirected by Shawn says within the case of SBS, a tomb was discovered while clearing mines in Vietnam. An evil spirit named Quang (Vico Thai) is released from this tomb and takes the dead with him.

The return of those ghosts forces 4 families in modern Melbourne to confront the ghosts of their past buried deep of their secrets, sins and private struggles.

Protagonist May Le (Catherine Văn-Davies) is tasked with stopping Quang from keeping the gates of hell open perpetually; her journey is one in all self-discovery and accepting her legacy after the death of Grandma Phuong (Linda Hsai).

The Nguyen, Tran and Stockton families bear the heavy burden of the Vietnam War. The survivors' guilt, painful memories and regrettable actions from the past threaten to tear their families apart.

Hereditary traumas

Unresolved trauma affects the current through intergenerational hauntings, each literal and metaphorical.

The ghost of a drowned man whom Diane Tran (Oakley Kwon) once hurt possesses her daughter Sophie (Jillian Nguyen). A heavy war results in a breakdown in the connection between Anh Nguyen (Ferdinand Hoang) and his son Paul (Gareth Yuen) and wife Lien (Gabrielle Chan).

Sophie becomes possessed by the spirit of a person wronged by her mother, Diane.

While the primary episode is heavy on explanations regarding the grand unveiling of the dead and the reason of Quang's mission, the series maintains a suspense that makes it engaging to look at.

The music (composed by Roger Mason) pulsates throughout the series and is catchy. Just because the eerie soundtrack is typically interrupted by romantic serenades from a bygone era, the narrative tension gives option to moments of humor and tenderness.

When Grandma Lien is visited by the ghost of her first husband Khoa (Hoa Xuande), she is transported back to her earlier life and uncomplicated love. The visual interaction between Lien in old age and in her youth is a poignant reminder of human mortality and the longing and loss that include the passage of time.

These interludes of contemplation and nostalgia recall to mind the haunting melancholy of movies Wong Kar Waioffering a temporary respite before the intense business of stopping the psychopathic spirit begins again.

A still from a film showing a séance table.
Hungry Ghosts sometimes veers towards romance – but the true story is concerning the ghosts.

For some viewers, Hungry Ghosts will feel eerily much like the plot devices utilized in the show The Harry Potter saga and a certain groundbreaking supernatural thriller film (you'll understand it while you see it).

Despite these inevitable comparisons, the show avoids the pitfalls of an Australian miniseries attempting to be Hollywood. Hungry Ghosts retains its distinctive Australian character. Proudly positioned in Melbourne, it puts the story of the Vietnam War and the resulting humanitarian crisis center stage (“The boat people”) that has been so central to Australia's modern history and national identity.

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In the four-part series, the romance is rushed and predictable, so it's disappointing that amongst such a wealthy Asian-Australian forged, several Anglo-Australian actors appear in starring roles to advertise the series (the Stockton family forged can also be the primary to look in the long run credits).

But these criticisms aside, Hungry Ghosts is an achievement on many levels and a beneficial contribution to Australian storytelling.

Australian history

The series stars over 30 Asian and Australian actors in lead and ensemble roles, including transgender women Suzy Wrong (who plays the splendidly eccentric clairvoyant Roxy Ling) together with 325 extras from Asia and Australia.

Director Seet was joined by executive producer Debbie Lee and writers Michele Lee and brothers Jeremy and Alan Nguyen.

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The investment in assembling this outstanding forged and crew guarantees an exciting future for national television. While Hungry Ghosts focuses on the Vietnamese-Australian community, the interwoven stories of generations and cultural groups may have wide resonance.

As an Asian-Australian, it was incredibly rewarding to see faces like mine on screen, in addition to depictions of familiar beliefs, rituals and practices.

A still from the film, people gathered around a bonfire.
Hungry Ghosts speaks to the necessity for diversity and minority representation in popular culture.

These representations weren’t symbolic, marginalized or exotic. The basis of this story is the Vietnam War and the Hungry Ghost Festival. Cultural richness permeates your entire series.

Smoking Joss sticksshrines decorated with photos of deceased members of the family, the intense sound of a wood hammer striking a prayer bowl, the combination of languages ​​spoken in the identical conversation by members of the family from different generations – interweaving these details, Hungry Ghosts is a textured portrayal of the lives and spiritual connections of a diasporic community that now calls Australia home.

Hungry Ghosts premieres at 9.30pm from Monday 24 August to Thursday 27 August on SBS and SBS On Demand

Image Source: Pixabay.com

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”