Many reviews for Alex Garland’s Civil War have highlighted that the movie is very apolitical and doesn’t take sides. It doesn’t present a red state vs blue state scenario and even deliberately makes the main characters unexpectedly Conservative.

Instead, it serves as an eventual endpoint for the continuing polarization of positions and opinions, and the inability to compromise.


At the SXSW premiere, he was very clear that it was not a partisan lecture. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he said:

“Why are we talking and not listening? We’ve lost trust in the media and politicians. And some in the media are wonderful and some politicians are wonderful – on both sides of the divide.

I have a political position and I have good friends on the other side of that political divide. Honestly, I’m not trying to be cute: What’s so hard about that? Why are we shutting [conversation] down?

Left and right are ideological arguments about how to run a state. That’s all they are. They are not a right or wrong, or good and bad. It’s which do you think has greater efficacy? That’s it. You try one, and if that doesn’t work out, you vote it out, and you try again a different way. That’s a process.

But we’ve made it into ‘good and bad.’ We made it into a moral issue, and it’s f—– idiotic, and incredibly dangerous … I personally [blame] some of this on social media. There is a an interaction that exists human-to-human that floats away when it reaches a public forum.”

This statement was viewed by over 2 million of those aforementioned social media users, and the response was predictable. One commentator said:

“What a hideously boring take for a filmmaker making a movie on the subject.”
Another chimed in:
“Should we give food to people or exploit them so they live in poverty while we live in opulence? Hard to say, there’s not really any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers here.”

Jeff VanderMeer, the best-selling author of Annihilation, on which an earlier Garland project was based, also weighed in refuting Garland’s comments that political differences are not moral issues, We can all decide for ourselves when Civil War opens in cinemas on April 12th.

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