An African American Independent: The Films of Kevin Willmott
CSA: The Confederate States of America (2004) Directed by Kevin Willmott
October 14, 2013
Kevin Willmott’s CSA: The Confederate States of America asks “What if the South had won the War?” In this provocative satire, Willmott imagines an alternate history where slavery is still legal. Using the film-within-afilm technique, Willmott constructs a TV documentary that examines the legacy of the victorious Confederates. Commercial breaks add another layer of humor, featuring real-world products such as an electric shackle to deter runaway slaves and “Darkie” toothpaste. Of particular note is a spoof of a D.W. Griffith film featuring a fugitive Abraham Lincoln. After its successful premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Spike Lee assisted in the film’s distribution. Director Kevin Willmott is scheduled to be present. (2K DCP. 89 min. Not Rated.)
For almost 15 years Kevin Willmott has independently written, produced and directed films that critically examine American’s racial history and its associated images. He works is a variety of cinematic genres, exploiting their potential to represent characters and subjects generally avoided by mainstream cinema. As a native Kansan, Willmott is also committed to producing stories situated in the landscape and history of Kansas. This Midwestern aspect of his filmmaking reminds us of the potential of cinema to reveal a deep structure that is local and particular.
The African American Independent: The Films of Kevin Willmott film series is co-sponsored by The Black Film Center/Archive, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Communication and Culture, Department of American Studies, and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.