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C.S.A.
DVD disk
09.26.2006 By: Sturdy
C.S.A. order
Director:
Kevin Willmott

Actors:
Larry Peterson
Evamarrii Johnson
Rupert Pate

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A mockumentary look at what the history of the United States would look like had the South won the war. Itís shown in documentary style, with commercials and real actors filling in for various scenes.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
CSA is a film steeped in ignorance. When you read the description, you will undoubtedly come to your own conclusions on what the movie will attempt to show. Some will expect a lesson on the importance of African Americans on our culture. Others will expect a humorous look at the ignorance of the old South. Yet others will expect a political statement that attempts to show how far (or not far) the United States has come in its quest to end racism and establish everyone as equal on a racial and social level.

Sadly, CSA fails at every level and at every turn. I canít think of anyone, or any race, that wonít be offended by this film. America is where it is today because of itís diversity. Thatís true with all avenues of American influence. Whether it be our political or social influence on the world, we have it because we are diverse and, through many bumps and bruises, have embraced diversity. This film barely takes time from itís far reaching ideals to address the importance of African American culture because itís too busy trying to make fun of it.

Also, itís an insult to every American to imply that had the South won the war, America would still be a slave nation. Forget for a second that the civil war had little to do with slavery (despite what your elementary school teachers would have you believe) and ask yourself if itís fair to say the ďCSAĒ is a fair expression for various elements of the current USA. I also took offense to the ridicule of President Lincoln. I donít for a second buy into the notion that any of our forefathers were saints, but to imply that Lincoln was a coward that didnít care about slavery is both unjust and unsubstantiated.

I also love (heavy sarcasm) the mention of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima at the end of the film. As if there werenít easier and more obvious uses of corporate racism in the world today. And thatís yet another problem with this ďfilmĒ. They only take aim at the easy targets and donít take the time to dig deeper and explore other, more subtle impacts of the Civil War. The quality and subject matter in CSA are so juvenile that I struggle accepting its release on DVD.

I typically donít get offended by films and I wouldnít say I was offended by this one. I can honestly say that had CSA been done on even a mediocre level, I could pass it off as another weak attempt at humor. But the extremely poor effort and lack of thought on the part of Kevin Willmott makes it that much more insulting. Of course, itís hard to blame him since this film was presented by Spike Lee and his influence alone can devalue any political statement.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Kevin Willmott and Rick Cowan: These two sit down and discuss the making of the film and how they came across various tid-bits. Itís an ok listen, but itís mainly Willmott talking. It actually took me a while to get that they were actually in the same room together.

Commentary with Kevin Willmott: This is just him, and it predominately features him discussing the various issues of fact and fiction in the film. Heís reading this from an essay and I donít know who actually wrote it. As with most history lessons, he leaves out certain facts to try and prove his points. If you watch this, I highly recommend taking it with a grain of salt and then doing your own research.

Deleted Scenes (13:44): More misfires here, but Willmott made the right call in editing these out. Some of these lend credit to an insinuated point in the film that the ignorance of the South was partly due to how bad the North destroyed it (only, in this case, the North would be the butt of jokes rather than the South). The idea wasnít carried out very well, so itís good that they cut these.

Making of CSA (10:46): Uggghhh. Iím glad I watched this after I saw the film, otherwise I wouldíve held it up to the goals that Willmott lays out here. I donít agree with anything he says, but I stand by my point that he doesnít come close to making a point or saying what he set out to say. This featurette is him talking about the film and what he wanted it to accomplish.

There are also some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
To sum up, this film is not funny or interesting, has no direction and makes no political or social points. The general idea was in the right area, but the execution wasnít close. I recommend leaving this one on the shelf and do your own historical research and make your own theories about what couldíve happened.
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