Apr 9, 2024

Movie thoughts: Civil War

This is Alex Garland's (director of Annihilation & Ex Machina) latest and last movie. He specializes in movies that make you think.

This movie depicts a fictitious future where civil war breaks out in America.
Written in 2020, Civil War is fictitious, but there are some parralels in real life (recent border crisis led to renewed talks of Texas seceeding). It's scary, but let's focus on the film.

My wife and I saw it last night. Wow! What a visceral depiction of war on American soil. The suspense/stress in some sequences is unreal. The movie does a great job at putting you in the war. It's an odd feeling, but it gets to the point where you'd want to hear gun shots to put your mind at ease, because it's away from you. Crazy to think of it as daily life for some folks.

I've seen many war movies, and Michael Bay films. I'm no stranger to explosions or the sharp "pings" of bullet shells, but this movie makes it feel so real. The constant unease and restlessness you experience is hard to describe.

When we got out of the movie, we both felt relief and a certain level of PTSD. Thank God it was just a movie.

We've also traveled to countries where we saw real destruction & military presence in civilian life. Serbia stood out as they still have big holes in bombed out buildings and burnt rubbles. Our bus was stopped at military checkpoints in Russia, a tourist police with gun accompanied us in Jordan (to keep us safe), and we saw men with huge semi-autos guarding McDonald's in Guatemala. Heck, I used to find bullets while foraging for copper as a kid (yes, that's a thing in 3rd-world countries). All that is to say: I've experienced real bits and pieces of war-torn places, but that's all after the fact. Nothing prepared me for the feeling of being in it like this movie.

This is an A24 movie so it makes you think, but this "thinking" is accompanied by such a visceral feel. Its cycle of fear, relief, suspense, fear, stress, shock...becomes a sort of wartime state of mind. Even as you become desensitized, the humanity in you questions who you are as crazy things happen around you, then you realize it doesn't matter because you might not live though it.
In our daily life, we have alot of control. In war, you become a ragdoll, thrown around, kicked around, and just existing until some future point where it hopefully stops. Hopefully you are alive at that point. Even then, you won't be you anymore.

This film takes us into a future of what could be. Now we get to think about why and how we can prevent it.
There are plenty who romanticize war & idealogy. This movie is a counterstatement to that romance.

Reminder: we have several wars going on in the world right now. In fact, on my upcoming vacation, I am going near one of them. Hopefully things don't get crazy. One realistic war movie is enough, I don't need to experience the real thing.

Oh shoot, I forgot we have an upcoming election where...nevermind.
ZEROSVN Tech Enthusiast

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