Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of The Toynbee Tiles

Release September 2, 2011 (Limited)
Cast Justin Duerr, Colin Smith, Steve Weinik
Director Jon Foy
Writer Jon Foy, Colin Smith
Genres Documentary, Thriller
Studio Argot Pictures
Length 86 mins.


Beginning in the early 1980s, hundreds of tiles carrying this cryptic message were found embedded in the asphalt of city streets as far apart as New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Santiago, and Buenos Aires. Street art? A prank? A message from space?

Filmmaker Jon Foy recounts how young artist Justin Duerr became fascinated with the strange plaques and, with two other Toynbee tile enthusiasts, Steve Weinik and Colin Smith, spent years trying to discover what they meant and who made them. The unlikely investigators uncovered increasingly bizarre clues: a newspaper article, a David Mamet play, a Jupiter colonization organization, and a Toynbee message that hijacked local news broadcasts.

That the origins of a street tile can be so captivating is testament to both Duerr's passion and Foy's filmmaking. Artfully constructed, Resurrect Dead thrusts us into the black hole of this fantastic mystery but also reflects on Duerr himself, and the personal connection he develops in his attempt to find an answer.

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