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Night of the living dead 3

Night of the Living Dead

George Romero / US, 1968 / 96 min.

The first of three intelligent and pioneering zombie films made by George Romero. With its unpolished but highly effective style, the film is still thrilling to watch and loaded with biting social criticism. Screened in 4K.

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Night of the Living Dead is an emblem of indie cinema: from a no-budget midnight movie it grew into one of the most influential films of all times. The deceptively simple story follows a group of strangers who are stuck at a farm where they have to fend off a swarm of recently deceased carnivorous creatures. Romero rewrote the rules of the horror genre by infusing the film with biting social criticism and oppressive psychological tension. The film reveals his claustrophobic vision of late sixties America, a country that literally tears itself up.

political message

Another pioneering feature of the film was that the lead role went to a black actor (Duane Jones). The actors cast by Romero were still largely unknown at the time. Romero himself stated he just went for the best actor who happened to be black, but film reviewers detected a clear political message.

nuclear threat

One interpretation of the zombie outbreak in the film is to see it as a metaphor for the nuclear threat facing the world at the time. In the film it is suggested the outbreak was caused by “something from outer space”. Romero shot his film with its hidden political message in the tumultuous year 1968, the year that is currently the focus of the EYE programme '1968: You Say You Want a Revolution'. The other two zombie films directed by Romero, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, have also become classics of the zombie genre.

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Details

Director

George Romero

Production year

1968

Country

US

Original title

Night of the Living Dead

Length

96 min.

Format

DCP

Part of

1968

Fifty years ago, students, factory workers and filmmakers challenged the Establishment, from Paris to Mexico City, carrying not only bricks but also agile and light 16mm cameras.

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campaign image 1968: You Say You Want a Revolution (© Bruno Barbey)
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