Civil War Is a Timely, Must-See Cautionary Tale | ForReel

Civil War

And yet, throughout the film, one clear choice is made: it doesn’t take sides. Early in the story, Dunst’s Lee tells Spaeny’s Jessie that they don’t decide; they document so that others can decide, and that’s the entire film’s approach. 

It’s never confirmed who started the war or why, or indeed, in many cases, when they encounter people, it’s not always clear which side they’re on. This is because it doesn’t matter: they’re fighting, and the film presents the logical extreme of that fight, and that’s all that matters. It’s tempting to think that the film has nothing to say, but it does have something to say, and it is to that previously mentioned one in five Americans: this horror is what you are asking for. This level of death and destruction, this murder and mayhem, these war crimes, this fundamental breaking of the nation –potentially beyond any real repair– is what you are asking for.