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This ‘Civil War’ Director’s Quote Matters (Really)

Alex Garland's incendiary film finds auteur weighing in on our divided age

Few films are under the microscope quite like “Civil War.”

The thriller, which debuted at SXSW earlier this month and hits theaters April 12, follows a near-future America at war with itself.

The topic is too uncomfortable for some. Others are eager to weaponize it to bolster the Left or the Right.

Early reviews suggest it offers little fodder for either side of the ideological aisle. What’s intriguing, so far, is what writer/director Alex Garland has to say about the project.

Civil War | Official Trailer HD | A24

Kirsten Dunst leads an ensemble cast as a journalist heading to the White House amidst a hot war between the states. Nick Offerman of “Parks & Recreation” fame plays the three-term President, dubbed a “fascist” by Garland in press conversations.

Garland, who previously directed “Men” and “Ex Machina,” takes aim at those seeking to divide us. He’s not looking to appease the Left or the Right but to show what might happen if our tribal ways worsen.

The director also flirts with one of the biggest issues of our age, perhaps without realizing it. Here’s part of what he said at a post-screening panel at this month’s SXSW Film and TV Festival.

“We’ve lost trust in the media and politicians. And some in the media are wonderful and some politicians are wonderful—on both sides of the divide. I have a political position and I have good friends on the other side of that political divide. Honestly, I’m not trying to be cute: What’s so hard about that? Why are we shutting [conversation] down? [emphasis added].

There are two ways to consider that statement.

First? Modern-day censors, from social media platforms to the Biden administration, want to curb what we’re allowed to say in public. Look no further than The Twitter Files for all the proof one needs.

YouTube routinely censors comedians and pundits alike for sharing the “wrong” opinions, while allowing other conversations to flow unfettered.

And then there’s Cancel Culture.

Americans now self-censor for fear of reprisal, be it public shaming or professional punishment. Certain conversations can no longer be had on race, religion or related hot-button subjects.

Hollywood only tells stories from a certain perspective, letting indie filmmakers pick up the slack.

Garland also struck a reasonable note when it came to why we should be able to talk, to debate, without being pummeled along the way.

Left and right are ideological arguments about how to run a state. That’s all they are. They are not a right or wrong, or good and bad. It’s which do you think has greater efficacy? That’s it. You try one, and if that doesn’t work out, you vote it out, and you try again a different way. That’s a process. But we’ve made it into ‘good and bad.’ We made it into a moral issue, and it’s f***ing idiotic, and incredibly dangerous … I personally [blame] some of this on social media. There is an interaction that exists human-to-human that floats away when it reaches a public forum.”

Garland is on shakier ground when explaining the bigger purpose behind “Civil War.” He envisions it as a “love letter” to journalism.

Yes, we need journalism now more than ever. Yet what we routinely see is reporters twisting the truth to bolster a far-Left narrative. They also leave out facts that don’t align with their worldview. Even progressives like Bill Maher and John Cleese can see that.

The media proved how corrupt it is, again, over the weekend. There’s little chance a film like “Civil War” will shame them into doing their jobs better.


  1. Another Garland puff piece. For shame, Toto. Garland is wrong. The Left and the Right are not just two sides, equally good and equally bad. The Left are not just people with different ideas. This is the kind of moral vacillation that has gotten us to where we are. The Left embraces and promotes the moran vacillation argument because it provides cover for their lack of any morals at all. Drag Queen Story Hour is a perfect example. The Left claims it is normal for adult men to cross dress, act in an over the top parody of feminine behavior, and want to share that with children. The Right sees Drag Queen as a purely adult form of entertainment and claims the story hour is sexualizing children. The facts are that the LGBQT movement itself admits that Drag Queen Story Hour’s goal is to destroy the nuclear family, destroy traditional values, and convince children that gender is and should be fluid. These are not ideals that are ableo to co-exist. The notion that males can menstruate is at odds with science. It is delusional. This is not a concept that can exist within a rational culture. The theory that minimum wage does not fuel inflation and wreaks havoc on an economy is not able to co-exist with a society that values work and rewards performance. Garland’s story is clearly a broadside against Republicans, Conservatives, Constitutionalists, and Christians. It is a call to arms to the Left and Liberals to continue to riot and attack the Right as they have done since … well, forever really. It was not the Right that rioted across the country for eight years under Obama and four more under Trump. It was not the Right that set fire to cities, attacked police officers, beat up old people, and weaponized social media and the various enforcement arms of the Government. It was not the Right that arrested parents speaking at School Board meetings. It was not the Right that forced people to accept untested genetic experimentation under the guise of vaccination,.
    Garland is pushing The Big Lie under the cover of an equanimity he does not believe in and you are providing cover for him…again.

  2. He dismisses the most important part of what he said as “f&^@king idiotic”…the good vs bad.
    I think that is PRECISELY what we are dealing with right now. This is battle of Good vs Evil and there are no two ways about it.
    You all can decide which side is which….but it’s blatantly obvious to any thinking person.

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