C.S.A.: Confederate States of America

Release Date: October 7, 2005
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Friday, September 3, 2004
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153/200 Max Braden Interesting what-if but the execution isn't very imaginative.

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What would our world be like if the South had won the Civil War? Ken Willmott's C.S.A: The Confederate States of America ponders that question in the form of a faux-documentary modeled after Ken Burns' "The Civil War." It's presented as a factual British documentary that is making a very controversial debut in the Confederate States of America.

Shot with digital camera on a slim $30,000 budget, the film imagines a Civil War result where rather than emerging as the hero and Great Emancipator and eventually being assassinated at Ford's Theater, Abraham Lincoln is captured as he tries to escape to Canada - wearing blackface. In later years, during World War II, the CSA sides with Hitler. And slavery is such an everyday institution that slaves are bought and sold on the Internet.

In this Brave New World, the country is in a cold war with Canada. Rather than the geographical boundaries that exist in today's world, the CSA has power that extends all the way to Central and South America, where apartheid is the rule of order. And in the wildly advanced 21st century, CSA women have no right to vote.

The film uses multiple devices to impart its message. There are phony commercials, archival photos, old editorial cartoons, talking head historians, and recreated scenes. There is a D.B. Griffith movie, The Hunt for Dishonest Abe, and a 1950s sitcom called Leave It to Beulah. There's a Home Shopping Network-esque program that specifically centers on selling slaves - complete with chirpy white women marketing a black couple and their "cute litter of pickaninnies." And there are numerous products advertised that might seem ridiculous, but some of them were actually real at one time.

IFC Films picked up the film for distribution after it received considerable buzz at the Sundance Film Festival. The hope is that the movie will build an audience through word-of-mouth. As director/creator Willmott says in his hometown paper, The Lawrence (Kansas) Journal, "Obviously, we need the support of a courageous distributor. Our game plan is to go overseas first and hopefully get the buzz going there. Bowling for Columbine is kind of our prototype in that respect." (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for C.S.A.: Confederate States of America
Main Cast Evamarii Johnson, Rupert Pate, Larry J. Peterson
Supporting Cast Charles Frank, Fernando Arenas, Sean Blake, Richard A Buswell, Troy Moore, John Niccum
Director Kevin Willmott
Screenwriter Kevin Willmott
Distributor Independent Film Channel
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.ifcfilms.com/ifcfilms?CAT0=3127&CAT1=6526&AID=13407&CLR=red&BCLR=
Screen Count 2
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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