CSA - The Confederate States Of America details
|Starring:||Shaun Toub, Ryan L., Ryan L. Carroll, Charles Frank, Sean Blake, Rupert Pate, Rhonda Stubbins-White, Gloria Stuart, Jeris Poindexter|
CSA - The Confederate States Of America
|Run time:||1 hour 29 minutes|
|Rental release:||13 Nov 2006|
Most helpful review
compulsory viewingBy aneurin (19 reviews) from Oxford , 25 Apr 2007
[Highly rated reviewer]Throughout, the satire is incredibly close to the bone, and all the better for it. It should alarm anyone that all the archive footage this fictional documentary uses is in fact real, including scenes of black slaves penned with cattle and vicious police brutality meted out to black rioters. That this alternative history seems so alien and yet is so recognisable eloquently makes the films many points about contemporary America.
The makers are clearly aware of how the documentary genre can disable our critical faculties, with experts wheeled out to make prosaic statements sound grave and important, irrespective of how ludicrous they are. This is certainly an important corrective to the Michael Moore School of documentary-making where truth becomes malleable and subject to some fairly wacky political views.
For the first time ever, I actually sat through the whole DVD commentary in which the director explains a lot of the history behind his alternative version and his reasons for shaping his counter-factual as he did. This constitutes almost a film in itself, and is well worth a look.
In all, a highly intelligent and often darkly amusing take on American society, politics and history. Seeing one interviewee after another blithely accept slavery and show off-hand disregard for the idea of abolition should make us think carefully about the ideas that are our own golden calves.
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Very DisappointedBy Xythe (21 reviews) from Manchester , 06 Nov 2007A great idea poorly executed. The 'documentary' itself would be boring to watch even if it was about real events, its just like every other run-of-the-mill history program ever made. As it is, a history lesson in history that never was, it is both boring and pointless.
The reason I give this film 2 starts rather than 1 though, is the commercial breaks interspersed in the film. These are all quite funny, and paint a lighthearted, but at the same time quite scary, picture of what the USA could indeed be like had the Civil War gone the other way. If only the main feature had been more of an analysis of how modern society in the Confederate States of America would have run, with only a bit of fake history for some background, this could have been infinitely more enjoyable.
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Interesting but too longBy a customer from London , 03 Nov 2007I found it an interesting study of how the States wld be if the South had won. The inherant racism, the changes that wld not have happened for anyone, any minority, if the South had won.
But it dragged on, repeated itself, 'yes we know, there wld be products named after slave terms' but what was interesting was the very end when you find out said products are still or have recently been still in production.
missed opportunityBy Dr Alban from england , 18 Oct 2007I was looking forward to seeing this doc as i thought it sounded an interesting premise. Having viewed it this morning i was pretty disappointed at the corny way it was handled and actually found the extras on the dvd offered more of an insight into what the film represents.
Good idea, poorly executed!!
strangely entertainingBy breatheasier (29 reviews) from BRIGHTON , 27 Aug 2007It's hard to categorize this movie....comedy or social warning. The wierd thing about it is that some of the events that are created to illustrate what modern America would be like if slavery still existed are infact happening in terms of the 'war on terrorism', eg informing on your neighbours if you think they may be of mixed race seems very similar to informing on people who you suspect to be involved in terrorist activity.
Overall the film is extraordinarily well done and so believable it's a little bit too close to the bone, so much so that at the end you realise that half of the things that you snickered at as being horribly racist and slightly far fetched... well, they were actually true.
It can get a little bogged down with historical references at times and for anyone without a basic knowledge of modern American and European history may not appreciate the true irony of some situations that arise out of the Southern States winning the American civil war.
Overall the film is well made,well presented and manages to evoke a few laughs out of what essentially a very serious and observant outlook on modern society and it's attitude. Afterall, just because you don't see things happening doesn,t mean that they don't!!
Simple Made ComplicatedBy a customer from Edinburgh , 04 Jul 2007At best this film is a dogs dinner of a mess and at worst, potentially damaging to the cause of anti-racism. Were given the premise at the start that the Confederates won the American Civil War and then were taken on a journey based on Willmotts suppositions regarding the outcome; notably extreme racism. Theres a subliminal message throughout the film, along the lines of; Thank goodness the Union side defeated the Confederates and their nasty racism.
We are forced to wade through oceans of ifs, might haves and could haves before were finally confronted with what we already knew; the Union side won and racism, regardless, is alive and well - which is more than can be said for great swathes of black citizens abandoned to the elements, ghettos, poverty, illiteracy, racist police, and unimpeded crime, etc.
If only all the fantasy, topsy-turvy, stuff had been abandoned at the outset and efforts focussed instead on exposing how and why racism has survived and thrived throughout the history of America. This then would have been a worthwhile venture, and potentially a serious contribution to the demise of a cancer that blights so many lives.