Picks and Pans Review: CSA: The Confederate States of America

UPDATED 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/27/2006 at 01:00 AM EST

Larry Peterson, Evamarii Johnson

So what was Abraham Lincoln, disguised in blackface, doing trying to escape to Canada along the Underground Railroad route using Harriet Tubman as his guide? It's just one of the many tweaks to history made by this biting faux documentary from writer-director Kevin Willmott, which takes as its starting premise that the South won the Civil War. Looking and sounding remarkably like a Ken Burns documentary for PBS, CSA: The Confederate States of America is a fast-paced, clever satire that plays a wicked game of What If?

What if the Confederacy had triumphed? Jefferson Davis, who headed the rebel states during the war, would succeed Lincoln as President. Lincoln, following his apprehension and imprisonment, would head for Canada, home to exiled American abolitionists and blacks who had managed to elude captivity. Slavery would continue to this day in America, with the government offering generous tax benefits to white owners. With its skillful interweaving of fact (real historical figures and products) and fiction, CSA makes you laugh—and then it makes you squirm. (Not rated)

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