Last night I went down to the Roxie Cinema in the Mission District and watched a fantastic, thought-provoking film: CSA: The Confederate States of America. (The flash intro will take a bit to load if you don’t have a high speed connection)
The movie is a faux documentary, supposedly produced by a British broadcasting company. It takes a look at an America where the South won the Civil War. The movie is built to look like a film that is being shown, controversially, for the first time on television in the States – complete with the TV introduction beforehand and commercial breaks throughout that serve to drive home the points the real film is making.
Excerpting from the film’s website:
“Beginning with the British and French forces joining the battle with the Confederacy, thus assuring the defeat of the North at Gettysburg and ensuing battles, the South takes the battle northward and form one country out of the two.
“Through the use of other fabricated movie segments, old government information films, television commercials, news breaks, along with actual stock footage from our own history, a provocative and humorous story is told of a country which, in many ways, frighteningly follows a parallel with our own.
“After victory, President Davis brings slavery back to the northern states by offering a tax rebate to businesses and households who will buy and own them. Liberals move to Canada. The nation chooses an expansionist policy and conquers Cuba, Mexico and South America.
“Through it all, we follow a political dynasty, the Fauntroy family, who lead the country through its triumphs and tragedies.
“We arrive to a today that, in many ways, we recognize. Although a nation that is content and prosperous, there is a tremendous divide within and suspicious eye without. Current politicians refer to us as two countries and perhaps, other than geographically, there is no difference between Red and Blue or North and South states. We have always struggled as to whether we are the United or Confederate States of America.”
Really, it is a shocking film because it takes something that we might initially dismiss as a preposterous thesis, and thinks it through very carefully. The end result is that we’re able to look at many of the stands our country takes, ostensibly on the moral high ground, and recognize that there is a veneer of hypocrisy to them.
I’d encourage you to see the movie if it is playing at a cinema near you.