Monday, August 17, 2009

Confederacy of Dunces, Indeed

Fascinating flick that's been playing on IFC the past few months. The Confederate States of America. It's a Mockumentary set in the 1960s, ostensibly covering the history of the 'CSA' - an imagining of what the USA might be like 100 years later had the south won the Civil War.

It might be the mid-20th century here in this flick but slavery is alive and well, complete with 'catchy' commercials for different 'brands' of servitude as well as all your various slave-related needs (a QVC style ad touts "The Shackle - keeps 'em in line!" while a young black model shows it off on her wrist). Makes you think twice when a commercial for the new 'automated' dishwasher comes on (the Maytag repairmen need to go to medical school here).

The coverage of the burgeoning anti-slavery movement in this "documentary" along with the narrator's serious-yet-dismissive coverage of the mounting international pressures on the CSA in that direction have a kind of authenticity - and familiarity - that is simultaneously silly and chilling.

Biting satire - fucking big, razor-sharp teeth, it might seem outrageous at times but hits home in unexpected ways. It shows that we're not nearly as removed from this 'civilized' inhumanity as we might like to think we are.

And not at all in some respects.

Mr. Vick, it's on IFC all month, I suggest you catch it - the irony there is heavy enough sink all of us to your level.

It's pretty damn funny in the end. And the point is, it shouldn't be.

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