Twenty-First-Century Slavery or, How to Extend the Confederacy for Two Centuries beyond Its Planned Demise: C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America
Harris, Trudier, Southern Cultures
C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, conceived and filmed by Kevin Willmott and presented by Spike Lee, is a mockumentary--that is, a film designed to spoof various historical television documentaries, especially work in the vein of that of Ken Burns. An extended contemplation of what it would have meant to the western hemisphere if the American South had won the Civil War, C.S.A. was ostensibly made by a British company and is replete with the requisite commercials of a television production. These are sometimes as innocuous as the one featuring a father who protects his family with Confederate Insurance and as insidious as the one advertising a bracelet designed to let modern day paddyrollers know the exact location of any "buck" who dares to run away.
Following other established patterns, the film includes talking heads--a black woman and a white man--who shed light on the actions being narrated and who put the history in perspective (chosen, the filmmaker asserted in a Birmingham premier, to mirror historians Barbara Fields and Shelby Foote in one of Burns's films). The black female scholar is Canadian, while the white male commentator, with his consistent lamenting of and apologies for the good ole days, appears to be an American of the traditional stripe. The Canadian connection is significant, for Canada is represented as the progressive, integrated society that its neighbor to the South has woefully failed to become. In Canada, blacks, fully integrated into the culture, have achieved grand things in society and the …
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Publication information: Article title: Twenty-First-Century Slavery or, How to Extend the Confederacy for Two Centuries beyond Its Planned Demise: C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. Contributors: Harris, Trudier - Author. Journal title: Southern Cultures. Volume: 12. Issue: 3 Publication date: Fall 2006. Page number: 89+. © 1999 University of North Carolina Press. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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