What if the South had won?
NASCAR would be the only sport in the country, McDonald’s would serve nothing but ribs and Larry the Cable Guy would be President. (Or maybe we would be something resembling Idiocracy?) Oh, that shit’s not in the movie, I’m just guessing. C.S.A. is a mockumentary that takes the subject very seriously. Filmed in a dry ‘Ken Burns’ style, C.S.A. is a British documentary about post-Civil War life in the Confederate States of America. Blacks continue to be slaves, with women and Hispanics continuing to be oppressed as well. In fact, women never do get the right to vote and the Confederate States invade and conquer Mexico. I always thought that the US couldn’t be more fucked up than it is right now, but it definitely could be worse.
Without a good understanding of American history, the film falls flat. This isn’t a broad comedy – you have to be educated to be “in” on the joke. Breaking up the dry segments are outrageously racist commercials for crazy products like Darkie toothpaste and Niggerhair cigarettes. The epilogue ties everything together nicely – if you’re white, you’ll be left with an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach, which of course is the creator’s intent.
I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see Spike Lee’s name pop up in the credits with some kind of production credit. This is kinda his thing. I didn’t have much of an opinion about him until recently. I didn’t watch his films, but I didn’t actively dislike him until he griped about Clint Eastwood not making one of the Iwo Jima soldiers a black guy. Wouldn’t that have been revisionist history, the exact thing that this type of film rails against? Fucking hypocrite.