C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America | EW.com

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CSA: The Confederate States of AmericaIf you want to know whether you can still laugh while your mouth is dropping open in shock, then you won't want to miss the disturbingly hilarious mock...CSA: The Confederate States of AmericaComedyPT89MUnratedIf you want to know whether you can still laugh while your mouth is dropping open in shock, then you won't want to miss the disturbingly hilarious mock...2005-11-16Sean Blake
CSA: The Confederate States of America
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CSA: The Confederate States of America

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Fernando Arenas, Sean Blake; Director: Kevin Willmott; Author: Kevin Willmott; Runtime (in minutes): 89; MPAA Rating: Unrated

If you want to know whether you can still laugh while your mouth is dropping open in shock, then you won’t want to miss the disturbingly hilarious mock documentary C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. It’s a fearless and brilliant racial-historical satire, done in a meticulous re-creation of the Ken Burns mode, that chronicles the last 150 years of America as if the South had won the Civil War. That’s right: Jefferson Davis gets elected president, Lincoln escapes in blackface with the aid of Harriet Tubman (”We both n—–s now, Mr. President!”), and slavery is established throughout the land. The writer-director, Kevin Willmott, works with a scandalous daring matched by his dexterous manipulation of archival reality. He mixes photographs and films, historical figures actual and fake, plus talking heads and sick-joke racist commercials until fact and fiction eerily merge.

A snippet from a D.W. Griffith film depicting Lincoln’s capture is tastelessly funny, but later, an ”actual” 1905 clip of the forgotten former president has a haunting plausibility. C.S.A., like Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America, is a dense counterhistory that ingeniously undermines your disbelief. As the Confederate States turns into a domesticated haven of white supremacy, even signing a truce with Hitler during World War II, the movie gets you to think, Could this actually have happened? The audacious upshot of C.S.A. is that in a place with the still-thriving racial demons of America, it sort of did.

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