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Ghosts… of the Civil Dead

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Produced by  Evan English
Director  John Hillcoat
7.1/10 IMDb

Directed by  John Hillcoat
Initial release  1 June 1989 (Australia)
Ghosts… of the Civil Dead wwwnickcavecomwpcontentuploads201211Ghosts
Written by  Nick Cave Gene Conkie Evan English John Hillcoat Hugo Race
Starring  David Field Chris DeRose Nick Cave Dave Mason
Music by  Nick Cave Blixa Bargeld Mick Harvey
Cinematography  Paul Goldman Graham Wood
Music director  Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld
Nominations  AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Awards  AACTA Award for Best Production Design
Cast  Nick Cave, David Field, Bogdan Koca, Chris DeRose, Dave Mason
Similar  Movies about violence, Other similar movies

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Ghosts... of the Civil Dead is a 1988 Australian drama-suspense film directed by John Hillcoat. The script was written by Hillcoat, Evan English, Gene Conkie, Nick Cave and Hugo Race. It is partly based on the true story of Jack Henry Abbott.


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The story is set in Central Industrial Prison, a privately run maximum security prison in the middle of the Australian desert. An outbreak of violence within the prison has resulted in a total lockdown. A committee is appointed by the prison's governors to investigate the cause of the outbreak, but their findings are in stark contrast to the facts behind the riot. As the viewers see, both the prisoners and the guards are slowly and deliberately brutalised, manipulated and provoked into the forthcoming eruption of violence, to justify the construction of a new and more "secure" facility.


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The script was based on the book In the Belly of the Beast by Jack Henry Abbott and research done with David Hale, a former prison guard at Marion, Illinois. The film was shot at a disused aircraft factory in Melbourne in October and November.

Origin of title

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In Roman law, a person convicted of a crime where the punishment included loss of their legal rights as a person was civiliter mortuus, a person without civil rights, a civil dead.


The spoken line "Welcome to Central Industrial. We are the future" has been sampled by Future Sound of London in their song Central Industrial on their Accelerator album; also sampled by Woob in their song Void, Part One on the various artists album em:t 0094, and by Jam and Spoon in their remix of Moby's Go. Sonic Subjunkies samples various parts of the film in their songs Central Industrial and Central Industrial II: The Lockdown.


Ghosts… of the Civil Dead Wikipedia

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