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Kristen Dunst in Civil War (IMDB)

Civil War is an American-British dystopian drama about a group of journalists who journey across America to document a second American Civil War. Source: Australian Catholics.

The film is set in an indeterminate (but near) future. It anticipates a second Civil War that grips the United States and shows a group of photo-journalists struggling to survive professionally and personally in a nation that has become a dictatorship and where extremist groups engage freely in criminal behaviour.

The group is led by veteran war photographer Lee Smith (Dunst). The US president (Offerman) is power-hungry and desperately trying to exercise control. On television, he informs the nation that everything is all right, but news footage tells viewers that is not true.

As a three-term president, he has disbanded the FBI and has authorised drone strikes against US civilians. Polarisation has morphed into factionalism and conflict is everywhere. The group of journalists find themselves navigating a brutal, war-torn, country.

The journalists race against time under Lee’s leadership to reach Washington before rebel factions occupy the White House. They want to interview the president before he is forced to surrender or is killed. Troops are marching forward to force their way into the White House. The journalists’ focus is always to get a good story, with horror camera shots – whatever that story might turn out to be.

The film is a tough, gripping movie that explores the violent uncertainty of life in a nation that is steeped in crisis. It is a dystopian drama with highly aggressive, brutal battle sequences that show a nation heading towards destruction.

Director Alex Garland has delivered a horrific wake-up call to show what could lie ahead: an America riddled with factions, aggression everywhere, and conflict from within.

Review by Peter W Sheehan, Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics

Civil War: Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Callee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley, Nick Offerman, and Sonoya Mizuno. Directed by Alex Garland. Rated MA 15+. Restricted. (Strong themes and violence). 109 min.


Civil War (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)