Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Southernization of America

A Movie Review

Having made its rounds of the film festivals and the big cities, writer/director Kevin Willmontt's 2004 mockumentary CSA: The Confederate States of America has finally arrived in Boise. This flawed and relatively low-budgeted picture is presented as the initial CS broadcast (on a San Francisco station) of a controversial British documentary on the history of the Confederate nation (this format allows for the insert of various fake commercials, my favorite featuring a Martha Stewart-type character). Through this look at an alternate American history the film makers are able to take on issues of American racism, imperialism, commercialism, ect. in a manner more likely to be viewed be audiences who would never otherwise see a Spike Lee 'presented' film. While I think the incredibly short lived Discovery Channel series What If? did a better job on the alternate history, CSA effectively conveys its political message, one that encourages us to examine the often unquestioned assumptions of our American culture.

Also seen by me today (in class): Goddess Remembered, a Canadian produced look at ancient Goddess worship and its effects on the spirituality of some influential contemporary women. Okay for what it is, had some interesting information but really only scratched the surface of its subject matter.


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