In 2015, John Carpenter called They Live “a documentary.” Though his cult classic is nearly 30 years old, its themes of surveillance, income inequality, and the sinking suspicion that the people in charge are way more sinister than we ever realised still feel very potent. A new short doc examines why.
Filmmaker Daniel Clarkson Fisher intersperses clips from They Live with contemporary news footage, talk-show segments, and interviews with Carpenter, actor Keith David, and others. Even if you’ve been on board with Carpenter’s semi-joking “documentary” theory for awhile (and even if you do, or do not, believe aliens are really running the show), We Sleep offers illuminating insight—no special sunglasses required. You may, however, feel a sudden urge to re-watch They Live as soon as humanly possible.