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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

The Duplicity of Humanity in "Night of the Living Dead"

George A. Romero’s "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) is more than a low budget horror movie meant to shock 1960s era Americans. It is a scathing critique of that society. Fear of communism and the war in Vietnam consumed American culture, and this is reflected in Romero’s work. The audience is able to accept the presence of zombies in the film because the world they inhabit is a reflection of the country at the time. The walking dead remind the American public of the threat of communism. One sees the potential inherent in humankind juxtaposed against all its flaws. The audience bears witness to an impossible situation and is forced to acknowledge their own triumphs and failings. Ultimately, the film argues that if there can ever be hope for a society where race, gender, and social status do not matter, people need to transcend their selfish and violent natures.

Presenters: Brian Boger (Undergraduate Student)
Jennifer LaMarsh (Undergraduate Student)
Jonathan Mannhaupt (Undergraduate Student)
Emily Wilkins (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Film Studies
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 3 pm (Session IV)

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