Sunday, November 25, 2012

Friday Night at the Movies XII

Did you ever watch something and when you were done kinda thought....

What the Hell was that?

I was looking for something to watch last night and was doing an extensive scan of Netflix. I was down to perusing the Independent stuff. There I found a show called Confederate States of America. The basic premise is alternative history; what if the South had won the Civil War?

Then what you have is a BBC produced 'documentary' on the current- circa 2004- CSA, which now encompasses all 50 states, and the history of the world to this point. Interspersed in the show are the commercials broadcast on the CSA network.

Some parts are real history, some parts are almost history (like the 1960 Presidential race between Democrat Richard Nixon and Republican John F. Kennedy which includes original debate footage redubbed) and some parts are pure fiction. But without knowing the real events it would be easy to become confused on what is real and what is not.

Presented as satire, the commercials are..... indescribable. There is one for the Home Shopping Channel- for slaves. Another advertises a sort of invisible fence for your servants. Yet another advertises get insurance for your property- All of your property.

Interestingly enough some of the ads are for products that really existed and were commercially sold in the world in the past. The racism in the ads is apparent and, hopefully, transparent.

The show itself is at times funny. The phrase "Sexual Relations with that woman" comes up, and the situation causes a few quick laughs. If you know the history as it happened, then there are also some 'events' that will cause a more than a few quick grins.

Just shy of an hour and a half long, some parts show the film was done independently, but for the most part it is a very watchable 90 minutes. You can't let go of the premise, and I really think that is the purpose of the commercials. Without them, because of the PBS style and quality of the mockumentary you could very easily believe this is a factual presentation.

One inspired and presented by the KKK most likely.

The historic timelines are credible and the use of redubbed historic footage lends a certain authenticity. The Canadian exiled Abraham Lincoln even makes and appearance in some "recently discovered" old film footage.

But the commercials bring home that what you are watching is a fiction; and the film is meant to ridicule a possible Southern Christian based society, not admire it. In later years the country bans all non- Christian religions and homo-sexuality, again driving home the general intolerance of folks who would tolerate slavery.

Bottom line; I'm not sure what to think. Interesting concept, and presented well. Some fiction; some reality, blended together rather nicely.

Grab a few beers, and watch a few minutes.

If nothing else there will be food for thought.

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