Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Review: Confederate States of America

An oddball film I came across and enjoyed, sadly lacking a mainstream release - this is an alternative history with a Jonbar point in the American War of Independence. The title hints at the alternative outcome. The main theme is slavery and racial inequality which does not end with the War; the film is eye-opening because so many elements of it are not actually fictional - the psychiatric diagnosis of "drapetomania" to describe runaway slaves and justify medical treatment of same; the portrayal of slaves and negroes in brand advertising, several of which exist in our reality too e.g. Uncle Ben...

The more imaginative elements of the plot, such as an alternative Clinton scandal, are also great fun, and the format of a British documentary about the history of the US, complete with fictional advert breaks, works well. The history of the slave trade is a British shame too and despite the US focus there's much to think about from a UK perspective.

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