C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004)

CSA The Confederate States of America (2004)I was doing research for a possible future project inspired by Rio Conchos (1964) that sees a group of confederates who had not surrendered. I also came across the Confederados a group of southerners who moved to Brazil where slavery was still rampant. I spent the rest of the night watching this disturbing mock-umentary C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004) that asked one of those what if questions. What if the confederates won the civil war, what would happen to America, and consequently the rest of the world. The politics and it’s culture which by the decision of the film-makers not much had really changed since they “won” the war in this warped reality.

At first I thought they would touch lightly on the change in culture, instead we are treated to an in-depth culture shock and fictional rewriting of history that satirised a version of events. There was never any Iron Curtain, instead we have a more real Cotton Curtain across the Canada border that prevented those who wanted a slave free America.

The Mock-up adverts that portrayed a thoroughly racist country that never really grew up in an enlightened world. I was shocked by the slave surveillance phone line that owners could ring up, even slave tagging system. The nasty stereotypes are heightened and played upon, both black and white. Splicing in and using archive footage and creating new footage to enrich this world.

The course of modern history is rewritten in this mock-umentary that increases the detail in this warped reality that for a time I believe, seeing these actors in this low-budget film, even African Americans took part in. Of course there was a fee involved and an underlying message behind the film. Events that we know happened, occurred in this reality took place in other countries.

I’m not usually one for this kind of film-making that can disturb the audience, which I’m sure this does, but on a level to make us think how lucky the people of America are, to live in enlightened world that saw Abraham Lincoln get through the 13th amendment. Maybe I’ll be returning to this genre of film-making that suggest an alternate future, which we need to see how lucky we are and take stock of what we have.


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