Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Movie Review: Resurrect Dead

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles is a mostly fascinating documentary about some bizarre tiles set into the streets of major cities across the United States and in South America.  The tiles always say something like this, with minor variations:
IN MOVIE 2001 

Who put them there?  What do these tiles mean? Why are so many of them in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

The documentary does its best to answer these questions, and as much as possible, succeeds. One of the most interesting elements of the story is Justin Duerr, a primary Toynbee Tile researcher: obviously troubled, he focused a great deal of energy into finding out the truth about this mystery, and it was only during a (likely) imaginary encounter that Duerr found closure regarding it.

The mystery unfolded throughout the film, allowing the viewer to become part of the revelations in a way that made it immediate and striking.  My only criticism is that the movie went on a little too long.  Would I have tried to uncover the mystery of the Toynbee tiles differently?  Yes.  But that's what made the movie so interesting: the researchers were real people working on a project in their own way.

Whether you've heard of the Toynbee tiles or not, you should definitely see this film.  4 out of 5 stars.

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