C.S.A. – An Analysis

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In the film Confederate States of America, the director imagines an alternate history in which the Confederate Army won the Civil War. The film begins with the Confederates beating the Union Army and searching for the escaped Abraham Lincoln. From here it accurately follows the historical timeline of events into the modern era. Significant changes are made in the history of the United States to represent a change in the ideology of the nation.

I agree with the author of the post “Changes to the Original” in her belief that the movie is extremely stereotypical in regards to its portrayal of the South. Most of the film’s humor is derived from stereotypical references to Southern culture and racism. “Country” music is played in the background throughout the movie, and actors with Southern accents are prominent as well. Typical southern cuisine is mentioned throughout the film to great effect. This is prominently shown in a commercial with references to fried chicken, as well as the testimony of the South American man forced to eat stereotypical southern food.

I found the commercials in between clips of the documentary to be one of the most jarring aspects of the film. In particular, the slave-tracking device advertised on TV resonated with me in a severe fashion. At first glance, these commercials appeared funny to me, and I found myself chuckling as I watched them. However, when I considered a world where overt racism was this prominent in society, I found myself cringing. Perhaps it was because these commercials were so similar to ones I’ve seen advertised on television, just tweaked slightly towards a different subject matter.  In any case, I found myself thinking that I wouldn’t want to live in a society where such bigotry was displayed out in the open on a day-to-day basis.

Ultimately, I feel as if the film is successful in its attempt to portray a Confederate United States. I felt as if it was extremely imaginative, and well thought out in regards to actual historical events. The director tweaked history just enough to make it somewhat plausible. Although at times the film was extremely stereotypical, and poked a great deal of fun at the South, I feel as if the film succeeded in highlighting the modern day issue of discrimination.


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