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I Smell Nigras !
I Smell Nigras!
BY: Jake McGee
For all the gibberish spit about the Sundance Film Festival (often by folks whose work didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get accepted), to deny its impact is jive.Ã‚Â The Festival consistently churns out excellent, groundbreaking movies, despite all the glitz that comes along with the event.
One of the many examples is CSA: Confederate States of America, a mock-documentary (directed by Kevin Wilmott and produced by Rick Cowan) that tells the history of this country as if the South had won the Civil War.Ã‚Â This turn of events has Lincoln on the lam, running (painted in black face) with Harriet Tubman through the Underground Railroad.Ã‚Â ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a clip from D.W. GriffithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s silent film classic, The Hunt for Dishonest Abe (1915), which shows how he was captured:
Col. Ã¢â‚¬ËœBloodhoundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Mayfield guides his Aryan brothers in pursuit of Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Great Emancipator.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I smell Nigras! Mayfield exclaims, and boom!Ã‚Â They catch the rotten bastard who almost cost the South their precious chattel.
Granted, this Ã¢â‚¬Å“classic only exists in the world of CSA, which is why this movie is such a fresh endeavor.Ã‚Â It is a gripping ride from the past through the present, with the institution of slavery a continuing staple of American society.Ã‚Â There are even commercials placed throughout the film, advertising such useful products as The ShackleÃ‚Â® (which tracks your slaves when they run off) and Niggerhair cigarettes.Ã‚Â When the film gets to modern times, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s talk of the Slave Shopping Network, where from the comfort of your own home, you can buy a strong buck named Jupiter, alone or with his wife and their litter of pickaninnies.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“ArenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t they just about the cutest things you ever saw? says the host, who then points out how the children would be helpful around the garden.
In a very sarcastic way, this film is just as funny as it is poignant.Ã‚Â This is because, despite the obvious fact that the movie is a piece of fiction, it parallels real life, showing that in many ways the USA isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t too much different from the CSA.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When this nation began, says Cowan, Ã¢â‚¬Å“it was actually based more on the ideals of the CSA than the USA.Ã‚Â We have bounced back and forth between which nation we want to be.Ã‚Â The CSA is about fear, limitations and control.Ã‚Â The USA embraces hope, inclusion and personal freedom.Ã‚Â We appear to be confederates againÃ¢â‚¬Â¦told to worry about everything, denying gays and detainees their rights and acting like weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rather be an empire.
Another peculiar aspect to CSA is that the ruling (and thus pro-Slavery) party in American government is the Democrats, though they behave much like the hard-nose, Ã¢â‚¬Å“we gotta stop pussy-footing around and kick some ass! Republicans of today.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, Cowan explains, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and, thus, we just let the party remain true to its original ideals.Ã‚Â Besides, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face it: thinking of the Republican Party actually caring about people is funny!
Looking to the recent mid-term elections, the Democrats have toppled the control the Republicans had on the US government, and all sorts of pundits are praising themselves, saying that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re taking back the country.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“The pendulum swings, Cowan says.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I fear there are no longer any statesmen out thereÃ¢â‚¬Â¦only politicians.Ã‚Â If thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the case, it is very difficult to see much change whatever party is in charge.Ã‚Â Being a statesman means being bold and doing what needs to be done, despite what the interest groups (translation: your bread and butter) want. Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The system itself will limit what Congress can do with Bush in the Oval Office.Ã‚Â However, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sure as hell better than another poke in the eye, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it?
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â CSA: Confederate State of America is now available on dvd wherever you would go for your home video needs.
Ã‚Â©Jake McGee Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Kotori Magazine