Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: Unrated but should be PG-13 for disturbing racial content
Run Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
blue states merge into a garish purple stain of utopian prejudice in this
racial and historical satire that shocks and amuses. Director Kevil Willmott
rewrites history Ken Burns-style, documenting the last one hundred and fifty
his polarizing polemic as a controversial program called “C.S.A.”, a BBC-ish
documentary airing for the first time on
And what of
our faux historic report card? Abraham Lincoln is in cahoots with Harriet
Tubman, who paints him in blackface and spirits him through her Underground Railroad
after the spectacular collapse of his administration. He resurfaces in prison
and ultimately exile in
“Archival” footage and clips from such film “classics” as “I Married an Abolitionist” (1955) pepper expert talking heads (historians, authors and the like) while the Slave Shopping Network praises the joys of Negro ownership and White Supremacy reigns as the natural order. With Spike Lee serving as the film’s “presenter” it’s no wonder that “CSA” bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the social sorrows of his adversarial “Bamboozled”.
In the grand tradition of “The Aristocrats” furious laughs come at culpable expense. Fiction ostensibly blends with fact as Willmott’s inspiration and shrouded wrath occasionally finds itself buried in comic technique. As absurdly cruel and outrageous as it seems this bigoted fairy tale nudges a little too close for comfort.