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[size=18]Review: Confederate States of America[/size]

An extended gag about the South having won the Civil War and made the nation into a sanctuary of slavery and race "purity," "The Confederate States of America" has only grown more provocative since its premiere at Sundance two festivals ago. In those two years, what seemed like one filmmaker's sardonic vision of what might have happened now seems to capture what a lot of people seem to wish had happened. And which may, depending on your point of view, be happening.

Point of view is the fulcrum of Kevin Willmott's movie, and slavery is its ballast. In "CSA's" movie-within-a-movie, a supposed TV documentary made by the British - because it would never be made here - charts the nightmare history of a nation whose economy is based on oppression, expansionism and a conscience-salving philosophy of racial/ethnic superiority. Intermittently, commercials extolling the virtues of Darky toothpaste and any number of staggeringly racist products that were (and are) real, interrupt the broadcast. So does a Home Shopping Network deal on slaves and a PSA warning about black people FedExing themselves to freedom. ("Look for air holes.")

Done largely in tongue-in-cheek Ken Burns style, the "documentary" deadpans through the execution of Harriet Tubman, and the exile to Canada of Abraham Lincoln (on whom Willmott is particularly, and unjustifiably, hard). Each episode in actual U.S. history is tweaked into a satirical parody of what didn't happen and might have: Hitler, for instance, visits New York pre-World War II and is almost convinced by John Ambrose Fauntroy (a kind of perverse Kennedy whose dynastic family has carried the curse of Southern supremacy down from the Civil War) into canceling the Final Solution. Americans, we are told, have a moral objection to wasting human life when it can so easily be used as cheap labor.

Offensive? Yes, and creatively so. Willmott is obviously out to provoke, but not just in terms of ripping a scab off the racism that has infected America since its birth, but suggesting how it tends to inform present day life as well. He may take things to an extreme, but exaggeration doesn't necessary nullify the core truth of what he's chasing.


[color=black] [size=14] -- Described by critics as a mind-bending mockumentary...[/size] [/color]



The movie's website: (movie made with help from Spike Lee)
[size=18]http://csathemovie.com/[/size]


    All that aside, your thoughts or answer to the question:
    [size=14]What if the South had won?[/size]
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Wow, that does sound like an interesting movie! I think I might check it out now, you've tweaked my interest.

I've wondered that same question before too, what would America be like if the Confederates won the War? Would the USA be divided in half along the Mason-Dixon Line? Would North America be Canada, the USA and the CSA? What would life be like for Blacks and other non-Whites in the CSA? What would the USA be like? Would the Confederation stay together?

I have a feeling that even if the South won the war, they would have crumbled eventually in the next 40 or so years afterwards. That's one of the main reasons they lost the war: Confederacy. With a confederate government, indiviudal States have 90% of the power, while the central federal government only has 10% (or less) of the power. Basically, you would have a country similar to the Holy Roman Empire, a bunch of individual provinces loosely connected and weakly strung together, possibly warring with one another while pretending to be a unified "nation".

One the reasons the Confederates lost the War was because their "President" Jefferson Davis didn't have enough power to help out the States. The States formed a rag-tag and disorganized coalition of mini-nations, and when they failed, they futily pleaded with the weak central government for funding. No federal government = no oversight.
There is a Science Fiction series that I read thats based on alternative reality in which the civil war is basically a draw and a seperate Confederated States co-exists with the North.

In the series the two countries fight a on and hot battle from the civil war all the way up to WWI where the south sides with Germany and the North with the rest of the allies. In between the North invades Canada for supporting the south and puts down a Mormon rebellation in Utah thats taken advantage of the civil war to try and break away from the union.

In the series the South begrudingly grants slaves their freedom as a way to get additional soldiers into the war, in the book the author describes whole battalions of slaves now free men fighting for the south, of course this presents problems as there are now whole battalions of armed black men who use to be slaves running around in the south.

This movie sounds like it may have taken pieces from that series, I can't remember the authors name and since I'm in Alabama writing this I can't go into my den and find the series and the authors name. This guy has written a couple of other alternative history books that are interesting.
I've heard of that book, jazzdog. At least I think. There's another very wierd one, where a group of Boers from South Africa go back in time and give the South weapons to win the Civil War. They ended up ending slavery anyway. A guy I was stationed with was reading the book.
However, it seems as if there is an obsession with the Civil War in various forms of media.
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Originally posted by Yemaya:
I've heard of that book, jazzdog. At least I think. There's another very wierd one, where a group of Boers from South Africa go back in time and give the South weapons to win the Civil War. They ended up ending slavery anyway. A guy I was stationed with was reading the book.
However, it seems as if there is an obsession with the Civil War in various forms of media.


I haven't read the book but on the cover it shows Robert Lee standing with a AK-47 automatic weapon which would have made a hell of a difference during the civil war.

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