Competition Narrative Feature
The Civil Dead
Directed by: Clay Tatum
USA, 2022, 103m
East Coast Premiere (2nd U.S. Screening)
Clay (writer/director Clay Tatum) is a struggling photographer. While his wife is away on business, he drinks too much beer and discovers a questionable way to make some extra cash using his apartment. When he decides to get out and take some photos around LA, he runs into an old acquaintance, Whit (co-writer Whitmer Thomas, also appearing in Homebody). Thing is… Whit is no longer “alive,” and for reasons unknown to both of them, Clay is the first and only person who can see him. The Civil Dead deftly presents an absurdist plot with understated (but very, very funny) comedy that deals with psychological themes such as friendship, the dynamics of marriage, and betrayal. Sometimes running into an old friend ends up being more of a curse than a blessing.