Night of the Living Dead. 1968. USA. Directed by George A. Romero. Screenplay by John Russo, Romero. With Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, Keith Wayne. 4K digital restoration by MoMA and the Film Foundation. 96 min.
George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, arguably the most important independent film of the 20th century, established the modern allegorical notion of the zombie and upped the ante for the next generation of horror films. This tale of seven strangers in a farmhouse at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse confronts issues that are still very much a part of America’s cultural fabric: patriarchy, the nuclear family, and racism. As perhaps the first postmodern horror film, Night of the Living Dead fundamentally questions our ability to trust other people, particularly those closest to us. But it is the film’s expression of the utter collapse of society and overt sociopolitical representations that make it a devastatingly relatable experience to this day.