Find out what America would be like if the South won the Civil War. Presented as a mock documentary, through the use of fabricated movie segments and actual stock footage from our own history, comes a humorous and provocat... more »ive story of a country, which, in« less
Outlandish SATIRE, not supposed to be historicaly accurate
Paul Guinan | Portland, OR. | 08/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Folks here trying to point out inaccuracies in the alternate history that unfolds when the CSA wins the Civil War are missing the point. Any chaos theoretician will tell you that a slight change to a system will result in massive change years later--in the "real" CSA there would probably never be a war with Japan, or the Nixon/Kennedy debate, etc. So what! A true examination of alternate history this is not, but I'm a hard-core history buff, and I was extremely entertained by this piece. It's a hoot to see footage of the Berlin Wall going up, used to illustrate the "Cotton Wall" between the US and Canada!
This was meant as a very biting satire of American culture, race, and slavery. It succeeds on that level. The only, and minor, complaint I have is that the low budget of this highly ambitious production occasionally spoils its "reality."
Also, some folks here presume this is some sort of Spike Lee production, which is not the case. Lee was asked to put his name on it as a "presented by" for marketing purposes, a seal of approval thing, much like Tarentino has his name on some Chinese action films. This piece is entirely Kevin Willmott's baby, he's a professor in the Film Studies Department of Kansas University. "
The more things change...
radio atlantis | tha north of ireland | 01/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i won't claim to know enough about american history to question the alternative history presented here. from what i do know though its accurate enough to turn the current history on its head. indeed, just before the end of the film credits inform us just how close perhaps we came to the horror described in this film actually being reality. at times hysterically and painfully funny, bitingly scathing of the csa while at the same time showing that (sadly), as some people have already pointed current us attitudes aren't that different, even behind a facade of political correctness. this film pulls no punches throughout using real footage this is essentially a faux english documentary narrated by a ray stubbs soundalike, shown on csa tv interspersed with ads that straddle the border between truly offensive and truly funny (think south park/ borat) ads. it starts off with the south winning the war of independence with the history commented on by two talking heads, a black history professor from montreal and a csa-based white author - both, natch, on different sides. we also get to see the brilliantly odious (little lord - sorry, couldn't resist) white bread presidential candidate fauntroy v. we also see the troubles that this increasingly isolated country suffers from and due to its attitude to slavery. te former includes some of the 'problems' with slaves mentioned below - in fact considering that phrenology was once accepted as good science the acceptance of the concept of freedom diseases like 'drapetomania', which causes slaves to run away should surprise no-one. the csa becomes more and more isolated as other countries recoil from its policy (though hands up europe has more of its share of blood on its hands due to colonialism. sadly too black african leaders don't come out of this too well either.) one of the more shocking revelations is the support the csa lends to hitler and his 'biologically correct' policies - indeed the then president suggests to him why exterminate jews when you can instead 'put them to work' since extermination is a "waste of livestock". maybe not so surprisingly is the fact that the csa fosters a right-wing christian fundamentalist mentality (with the catholic church accepted to be, after much debate, christian). hmmm, where's that mirror??? as pointed out some of the products show in these ads used to exist in the 'real' us. take the slave shopping network or control aid contrari - showing how blacks and mixed race are shown as truly sub-human in this 'brave new world' - with side effects which are not recommended by vets (VETS!!) on servants who are about to 'drop a litter'. to show how well these ads mirror the america of the past, look at the pisstake of 'cops' called 'runaway'. devoted to the capture of runaway slaves (quite the problem apparently), it has a laugh-out-loud theme tune; think the cops tune performed by a bunch of drunken hicks and you're there. one final thought though - look at this ad and see how close it is to the parallel universe 'cops' show, look again at the faces of the runaways/ criminals and those of the cops. notice anything? just in case you missed it, how close is the 'fantasy' of teh csa to the reality of modern day america? the more things chance... "
A brutal, squirm-inducing satire
William Sommerwerck | Renton, WA USA | 09/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""CSA" takes the format of the broadcast of a faux British documentary about the history of slavery in the CS after the War of Northern Aggression. It's punctuated with commercials that suggest what life would be like in a society that has thoroughly integrated slavery into its basic structure.
Contrary to what some reviewers claim, the documentary is a coherent, well-worked-out speculative history of what might have happened if the South had won. Some of it is based on what the South did, or wanted to do (the invasion and subjugation of South America, for example); most of the rest seems plausible, if only in terms of "human nature".
Several reviewers correctly pointed out that all the South wanted was the right to continue to spread slavery to states entering the Union, and that it had no /intention/ of conquering the North. This overlooks the fact that the only way it could have had what it wanted was by overthrowing the US government and seizing power. The South /did/ invade the North, and had it seized Washington, it's unlikely it would have simply walked away from the opportunity to take control. Would you?
If you're expecting an SNL or MAD TV sketch, you'll be disappointed. Though there are slap-your-knee/laugh-out-loud moments, the subject matter and its basically serious presentation prevent most of it from being amusing.
Highly recommended, if you have the stomach for this sort of thing."
A new definition of "black humor"
J. Easter | Western Slope, CO | 10/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
When we originally rented this film, we had no idea what was coming. We're fans of Harry Turtledove's alternate-history novels, so we thought it would be a similar work. Boy, were we wrong! Without giving away too much, suffice it to say that this is the most hilarious (and uncomfortably accurate) piece of uncompromising political incorrectness we've ever seen."
Forrest Wieland | Chico, CA USA | 11/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very good movie. Controversial for most people im sure. It describes how the history would have changed if the South would have won but this only one groups perception. Many predictions sound accurate. But there are a good amount of predictions i would have of debated with the makers of this movie. They have these fake commercials for modern day confederate states that are pretty racist, but funny if you don't get offended easily. But keep in mind this was made not to piss off people but to show how America is still like the south in someways."