Civil War director Alex Garland explains the alliance between Texas and California in his film

A24’s new film is drawing a lot of questions. Alex Garland explains his reasoning for uniting two famously opposing states.

Alex Garland‘s Civil War has turned a lot of heads on a number of issues. His hypothetical film about a modern-day civil war can be incendiary on its concept alone, and with a lesser respected filmmaker and studio behind the project, many would accuse the film of exploiting a seemingly boiling issue. However, Garland is a director that movie fans know isn’t necessarily going to emulate Michael Bay after such heady films like Men and Annihilation. When the trailers were released and it was revealed that the film featured an alliance between two states with notably opposing politics, many questioned the possibility and purpose behind it.

So, how did California and Texas unite to form the Western Forces? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Garland addressed this decision at a special screening of the film. The director says it was “intentional” as it was “partly to get around a kind of reflexive, polarizing position that people might fall into, that’s one thing, but actually that’s not the main thing. The main thing is to do with how the president is presented and what can be inferred from that.” Nick Offerman plays the president in the film, who uses air strikes on American citizens as a way of acquiring additional terms.

Garland continued to expound, “Then it’s saying that two states that have a different political position have said, ‘Our political difference is less important than this.’ And then the counter to that is if you cannot conceive of that, what you’re saying is that your polarized political position would be more important than a fascist president. Which, when you put it like that, I would suggest, is insane. That’s an insane position to hold. So it’s sort of an oblique commentary and I think that’s how the film works in general. It’s not explaining this stuff but it’s also not avoiding this stuff.”

Offerman would also add that the plot point of the Western Forces “serves a few purposes but one of them is to immediately say, ‘This is not supposed to represent the world as it is.’ But I think it also serves to say the way the world is working these days, anything is possible and so quickly.” As Garland wrote the story in 2020, he says having it release in an election year “is really strange, just the sense of déjà vu.” He also says, “I think the film was written really not just about this country, about a weird state we’re in to do with division and polarization and extremism, the things that flow from populism. At the moment I wrote it, I don’t think I imagined it would take four years to get to this point, but also if it did take four years, that things would be so similar.”

Civil War is declared in theaters on April 12.

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/civil-war-alex-garland-alliance/

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