New ‘Civil War’ Film Gives an Incredibly Dishonest Look at ‘Objective’ Journalism

It’s easy to see why the hype had been building for A24’s new hit film “Civil War.” Set in a fictional not-so-distant future, the film imagines the United States split into various secessionist factions whose battles have turned the continental states into a war zone.

Given the escalating state of real-life right-versus-left U.S. politics, many felt the film might serve as a cautionary tale for where we’re currently headed. That prospect was intriguing for many, so much so that the film snagged the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office on its opening weekend (April 12 – 14), making it the best-performing A24 film of all time.

Many others worried, fairly, that the film would be filled with the typical Hollywood social propaganda. They worried right-wingers would be made out to be evil caricatures and that the socialist anarchists currently behind the wheel of the Democratic Party would be made to look “good.”

Surprisingly, for the most part, this was not the case (aside from what some would argue is a thinly veiled dig at former President Donald Trump).

The film tries hard to avoid making any socio-political statements. In fact, given the promise of the premise, the movie was boringly apolitical.


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The plot follows a handful of journalists working for Reuters as they travel through the once-United States, capturing photographs of the civil war’s carnage along the way, and remaining coldly unemotional and neutral as they do so.

The audience is left with no clue why the war is taking place or even what the different factions are fighting for.

That’s not to say the film is devoid of propaganda entirely, though.

Have you seen “Civil War”?

The plot itself serves as one long, drawn-out examination of the importance of so-called “objective” journalism.

Director Alex Garland claimed the idea for the film came to him amidst the 2020 election and COVID. According to Spectrum News, those events inspired him to make the film as “a love letter to journalism.”

The film’s journalist protagonists are portrayed as neutral third-party observers. They consider it a moral duty to capture images of the war without involving themselves in it. At times, these protagonists are shown walking over dead bodies and injured combatants just to get a good shot of the carnage.

While this might sound horrifyingly cold and inhumane, the film portrays this indifference as a sacrificial act on the part of these protagonists.

They’re sacrificing a bit of their own humanity in order to preserve the “objectivity” of their journalistic endeavors.


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They don’t take a side — and that’s how you know this film is propaganda.

The truth is, despite what “Civil War” might think, journalists aren’t somehow more objective than the rest of us.

The Walter Cronkite fans of the world might tell you that this used to be the case, that journalism used to be unbiased at its core, and that perhaps one day it will be again.

This, too, is a fiction.

It’s quite ironic that COVID and the 2020 election were the two events that inspired Garland to make this film, because no two events from recent history could have more clearly demonstrated how corrupt and biased the media truly is.

The supposedly unbiased media served as mouthpieces for big government’s push to vaccinate the masses and lock down the country. Many outlets refused to cover the Hunter Biden scandal just before the 2020 election. BLM riots that burned down cities and eviscerated local economies were portrayed as “mostly peaceful.”

Journalists covered all these 2020 issues from one political viewpoint — the left’s.

Over the course of the 20th century, we tricked ourselves into believing the myth of objective journalism. That’s what allowed biased left-wing activists to infiltrate and dominate the information sector.

Thanks to the last few years, however, many Americans of all political stripes have woken up to that reality.

According to an August 2020 survey from Gallup and the Knight Foundation, 57 percent of Americans said their own news sources were biased, 46 percent thought the media in general was very biased and 70 percent worried that the ownership of news media companies was influencing news coverage in a biased manner.

Art and entertainment should reflect reality. That’s what sets apart true storytelling from propaganda.

If “Civil War” had been made in a way that truly reflected reality, the film’s journalists would have taken a side.

In fact, if Garland wanted to be true to real life, he would’ve written the plot around the idea that the fictional civil war itself was the fault of propagandistic news outlets like NPR.

In the real world, most establishment media journalists don’t shine a light on our nation’s conflicts — they cause them.

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