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Tag: alex garland

The Big Picture

  • Films like
    Civil War
    spark important discourse in our changing media landscape.
  • Alex Garland’s apolitical stance challenges critics to engage with the film’s text.
  • The ambiguity of
    Civil War
    reflects on the murky nature of war, blurring lines between good and evil.


When a divisive film like Civil War comes along, it is worth appreciating, as the passionate discourse among the film community serves as a reminder that films are essential forms of media in a rapidly changing media and cultural climate. For a provocative filmmaker like Alex Garland, apathy is the enemy of artistic success. If his recently released dystopian war thriller failed to trigger anger and frustration among a cohort of critics, then something went awry. However, a large sector of negative criticism aimed at Civil War gravely misses the point of Garland’s film. Even worse, many critics have refused to engage with the text of the film due to Garland’s decision to take an apolitical stance on the film’s subject. You’re not supposed to be aware of Garland’s politics, as the nature of the film’s dystopian political climate is abstractly eerie. If anything, fixating on broad politics instead of the photojournalists on the battlefield who are coming into direct contact with the hellish backdrop of war is an absurd proposition.


The fanfare surrounding Civil War is two-pronged. The film’s subject evokes a toxic political climate that has affected contemporary society. It’s understood that the content of Garland’s film could feasibly be from a future not too far from the present day. Being a Presidential Election year, any film concerned with the national divide will call attention to itself. From a cinematic perspective, Civil War represents a major leap in scale for the acclaimed independent studio, A24. With a $50 million budget, Civil

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