Ghosts Of The Civil Dead

Script co-writtten by Nick Cave

Directed by John Hillcoat, Ghosts… of the Civil Dead features an original score written and performed by Nick, Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld. Nick also appears in the film as the psychopathic and nihilistic Maynard.

Released 1988

Ghosts…Of The Civil Dead was the first feature by John Hillcoat. Central Industrial Prison is set in the middle of the desert. It’s the future of maximum-security containment and it’s on lock down after an explosion of violence. A committee has been appointed to report on the events that led up to the violence but their findings are in stark contrast to the reality we see with our own eyes…

Ultimately, Ghosts…Of The Civil Dead is a powerful drama concerning modern methods of social control: colour, architecture and environment,human group dynamics, drugs, television, brute force, breeding of criminals, notions of random violence, fear, divide and rule, police, media.

It is about the organisation of our society.

The film examines the way that prison further criminalises its inhabitants and how the system,upon which our society is based, has the capacity to exploit events that should be an indictment of it. Furthermore it demonstrates how our system deliberately creates those events in order to exploit them.

Soundtrack composed and performed by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld

OST released in 1989.

  • The News [Voice: Michelle Babbit]
  • Introduction-A Prison in the Desert
  • I’ve Been a Prison Guard Since I Was 18 Years Old
  • I Was 16 When They Put Me in Prison
  • You’re Danglin’ Us Like a Bunch of Meat on a Hook
  • Pop Mix
  • We Were United Once
  • The Day of the Murders
  • Lilly’s Theme (A Touch of Warmth)
  • Maynard Mix
  • What I’m Telling Is the Truth
  • Outro-The Free World
  • One Man Released So They Can Imprison the Rest of the World