WERELD & DENKEN
 
 

Filmbespreking: The Second Civil War (Joe Dante, 1997)

Recensie van de site van IMDB, 25-06-2004, door Claudio Carvalho (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

A Hilarious and Sad Tribute to the Politicians, Lobbyists and Press of a Warrior Nation

In a near future, after the nuclear explosion of a bomb dropped by India in Pakistan, an American non-governmental group decides to bring the Iranians orphans to Idaho. The silly governor of Idaho (Beau Bridges) is the political opponent of the American president (Phil Hartman) and decides to not permit the immigration of the children to his state. Indeed his greatest concern is relative to his sexual and affective life with the American-Mexican journalist Christina (Elizabeth Peña) and he does not give much importance to his statement. The stupid president decides to follow the advice of Jack Buchan (James Coburn) and his advisors, and sends the U. S. Army to the border of Idaho, which is protected by the National Guard troops. Due to the last chapter of a famous soap opera, the president gives sixty-seven and half hours to Idaho permit the ingress of the children. The greatest American network covers all of this confusion in a sensationalist way. All of these absurd misunderstandings together culminate in the American Second Civil War. This movie is a great dark and dramatic comedy, made before the tragedy of September 11th. In Brazil, it was not promoted and I found the VHS by chance on sale. When I saw the name of Joe Dante and the cast, I decided to buy and watch it. It was a worthwhile entertainment. It is a sort of `tribute' to the politicians, lobbyists and press in USA, and without the participation of Michael Moore. Martyn Burke and Joe Dante explore the warrior spirit and the racial segregation of the American people, the immigration problem, the lack of common sense and the search for votes of the politicians, the unreasonable advices of lobbyists and civilians and military advisors and the performance of the manipulative press in a funny (and even sad) story. My vote is seven.
 

Recensie van de site van IMDB, 04-02-1999, door Cirio (Italië, of Padania?)

Much more than a TV-movie

"The Second American Civil War" appeared in the cinemas in Italy and caused many discussions probably because of the correspondences between its plot and the matter of secession in Northern Italy promoted by the Lega Nord party. Anyway, this movie is great for other reasons and deserved to be seen in the cinemas of any country. The only lack of the movie is the weakness of the characters such as the pathetic figure of the old wise journalist (James Earl Jones). However the real main character is the background, that is the society, the medias and the political class. Dante strikes all these categories with a brilliant and grotesque satire and represent all their contradictions.
    The influential News Net spread idiotic and mediocre message. The politicians only care about keeping their careers with the political tricks (the ultimatum mustn't interfere with the popular soap-opera). Finally Dante paints a society that can't find an alternative between "We are all brothers" and "This is my land and here I command".
    You MUST SEE it, if you have the chance because it is far the best movies of is genre (much better than "Wag the Dog")


IRP:
   Dit zegt het wel zo'n beetje allemaal. Behalve dat er ook weer een overvloed aan aardige details is die ook herhaald zien aantrekkelijk maken. Opmerkelijke waarneming van de tweede recensent, zelden of nooit gedaan in dit soort context, is dat het onderwerp van de film niet één of meerdere van de karakters is, maar de maatschappij..
 

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