The inmates and guards of a modern, clean and efficient maximum security wing are slowly and increasingly brutalised until they erupt in violence. Dark and macabre, and based in truth, the story is told in a traditional dramatic style combined with telephone interviews and narration. Written by
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The title says it all. When a person is convicted of a crime, he or she becomes, at least temporarily (and, in certain situations and locations, permanently) dead to civil society. The men we see here are mere shadows.
_Ghosts of the Civil Dead_ is as topical now as it was when first released as a study in the ways that fear of crime may be exploited to justify oppression. Only in two or three scenes is overt violence shown, yet the movie manages to maintain a sense of menace for the full duration. As repression within the prison becomes increasingly harsh and the few remnants of civilian life that the prisoners have retained are stripped away, it becomes increasingly obvious that there can be no resolution.
In the current climate of law and order rhetoric, _Ghosts of the Civil Dead_ remains a powerful reminder as to where this rhetoric may lead.
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