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C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America

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C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKevin Willmott
Written byKevin Willmott
Produced byRick Cowan
Ollie Hall
Sean Blake
Victoria Goetz
Benjamin Meade
Andrew Herwitz
Marvin Voth
StarringRupert Pate
Evamarii Johnson
Larry Peterson
LaMont Collins, Jr.
Narrated byCharles Frank
CinematographyMatt Jacobson
Edited bySean Blake
David Gramly
Music byErich L. Timkar
Kelly Werts
Distributed byIFC Films
Release dates
  • January 18, 2004 (2004-01-18) (Sundance)
  • February 15, 2006 (2006-02-15) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$744,165[1]

C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America is a 2004 American mockumentary film written and directed by Kevin Willmott.

It is an account of an alternate history, wherein the Confederacy wins the American Civil War and establishes a new Confederate States of America that incorporates the majority of the Western Hemisphere, including the former contiguous United States, the "Golden Circle", the Caribbean, and South America. Primarily detailing significant political and cultural events of Confederate history from its founding until the early 2000s, this viewpoint is used to satirize real issues and events, and to shed light on the continuing existence of racism against Black Americans.

The film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and was released in the United States on February 15, 2006, by IFC Films. It received positive reviews.


C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America is set in an alternate history where Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation failed. Confederate President Jefferson Davis takes the opportunity to secure British and French aid for the Confederacy, allowing Confederate forces to win the Battle of Gettysburg, besiege Washington, D.C., and take over the White House a few months later. As a result, slavery in America survives into the present day and other historical events are affected accordingly.

The film is presented as if it were a British Broadcasting Services (BBS) (a parody of the British Broadcasting Corporation) documentary being broadcast on a CSA television channel in San Francisco, California. It opens with a fictional disclaimer suggesting that censorship came close to preventing the broadcast, that its point of view might not coincide with that of the network, and that it might not be suitable for viewing by children and "servants". It purports to disagree with an orthodox Confederate interpretation of American history.

The film portrays two historians: Sherman Hoyle, a conservative Southerner (a parody of Shelby Foote); and Patricia Johnson, a black Canadian, as talking heads, providing commentary.

The documentary hosts also follow Confederate politician and Democratic presidential hopeful John Ambrose Fauntroy V (the great-grandson of one of the founders of the C.S.A.) during his primary campaign as he faces challenges over alleged black ancestry. Narration explains fake historical newsreel footage, which is either reenacted or compiled of genuine archival footage dubbed with fictional narration.

Racialist advertisements appear as commercial breaks, including consumer products, television programs, and films, all aimed at white slave-owning families. Text during the film's epilogue note that parts of the alternate timeline are based on real history and that some of the racist products depicted such as Uncle Ben's and Aunt Jemima actually existed at the time of the film's production (both products were rebranded in 2020 following the George Floyd protests[2][3]).


  • Rupert Pate as Sherman Hoyle, a Confederate American historian who speaks highly of the Confederate American values.
  • Evamarii Johnson as Patricia Johnson, an African-Canadian historian whose viewpoints focus on the slaves and minorities oppressed by the Confederate regime.
  • Larry Peterson as Senator John Ambrose Fauntroy V, a descendant of Confederate senator John Ambrose Fauntroy I and Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2002.
  • Charles Frank as the documentary's narrator.
  • Steve Jasen as the voice of Abraham Lincoln
  • Arlo Kasper as Old Abraham Lincoln
  • Kevin McKinney as Blackface Abraham Lincoln
  • Joyce Jefferson as the voice of Harriet Tubman
  • Will Averill as Blackface Harriet Tubman
  • Brian Paulette as Jefferson Davis
  • Lauralei Linzay as Varina Davis
  • Sean Blake as Adolf Hitler
  • Glenn Q. Pierce as the voice of Robert E. Lee
  • Marvin Voth as the voice of Walt Whitman
  • John Staniunas as the voice of William Lloyd Garrison
  • Greg Funk as the voice of Wendell Phillips
  • Kevin Willmott as the voice of Frederick Douglass


Kevin Wilmott began production on the film with a funding from the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and wrote its first draft in 1997.[4]

Willmott, who had earlier written a screenplay about abolitionist John Brown, told interviewers he was inspired to write the story after seeing an episode of Ken Burns' 1990 television documentary The Civil War.[5] It was produced by Hodcarrier Films.

The film was filmed in Humboldt, Newton and Lawrence cities in Kansas, with a cast and crew coming from the U.S. states of Kansas, Missouri and Iowa as well as Colombia.[6]


The film grossed $744,165 worldwide in limited release.[1]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 80% based on reviews from 66 critics.[7] On Metacritic the film has a score of 62 out of 100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[8] Most critics were intrigued by the film's premise, but some found the execution to be lacking primarily due to a low budget.[9][10][11] In 2018 James Berardinelli wrote: "The movie is ultimately more interesting in satire than the presentation of a legitimate alternate timeline. This doesn't invalidate C.S.A.'s approach but it limits its effectiveness as a sort of Twilight Zone look at the last 150 years."[12]


An earlier version of the film premiered on February 21, 2003 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas,[13] while the film premiered for the second time, at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2004.

In January 2004, after the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, IFC Films acquired the distribution rights to the film in the United States.[14]

The film received a limited theatrical release in some Southern cities on October 7, 2005, and later received a wide theatrical release on February 15, 2006.[15]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD by IFC Films (distributed by Genius Products) on August 8, 2006.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CSA: The Confederate States of America (2005)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Vigdor, Neil (February 10, 2021). "Aunt Jemima Has a New Name After 131 Years: The Pearl Milling Company". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Uncle Ben's rice changes name to more 'equitable' brand". BBC News. September 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "What if the South had won?". Lawrence Journal-World. February 21, 2003. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  5. ^ "The Second Civil War", Village Voice, February 7, 2006.
  6. ^ "Kansas, Missouri provide cast, crew, locations for new Confederacy film". University of Kansas. February 11, 2003. Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  7. ^ "CSA: The Confederate States of America (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  8. ^ "C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America". Metacritic.
  9. ^ LaSalle, Mick (24 February 2006). "What if the South had won the Civil War?". SFGate.
  10. ^ McCarthy, Todd (9 March 2004). "C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America". Variety.
  11. ^ Murray, Noel (21 February 2006). "CSA: The Confederate States Of America". The A.V. Club.
  12. ^ Berardinelli, James (January 31, 2018). "C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America". Reelviews Movie Reviews. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  13. ^ "Kansas in the Movies". Washburn University. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  14. ^ "IFC Films Annexes CSA: The Confederate States Of America in Sundance Acquisition". IFC Films (Press release). January 20, 2004. Retrieved April 25, 2021 – via AMC Networks.
  15. ^ "Controversial 'CSA' film snags theatrical release". Lawrence Journal-World. October 7, 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2021.

External links[edit]