Subtitled 'Three Films About the Power of the Past', The Living Dead was the second major documentary series made by British film-maker Adam Curtis. This documentary investigates the way that history and memory (both national and individual) have been used by politicians and others. Adam Curtis' trademark narration, filled with subtle irony and underplayed astonishment, is, as usual, complemented by a hodge-podge of historical film clips, frequently creating playful, chilling, and absurd associations. In The Living Dead, his usual obscure fragments from the BBC's film archives are bolstered by clips from German vampire movies, American Cold-War thrillers, and British ghost stories. The past, he tells us through this weird montage, is best not forgotten, lest it reassert itself on an amnesiac population.
Two homicide detectives are on a desperate hunt for a serial killer whose crimes are based on the "seven deadly sins" in this dark and haunting film that takes viewers from the tortured remains of one victim to the next.
Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz, Hubert, and Said -- a Jew, African, and an Arab -- give human faces to France's immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their social marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point.
In the year 2035, convict James Cole reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to discover the origin of a deadly virus that wiped out nearly all of the earth's population and forced the survivors into underground communities.