See How Alex Garland’s Civil War Divides the United States

Alex Garland’s Civil War isn’t shy about its premise. It’s right there in the title. It’s about a United States of America that’s no longer united, with various sections engaged in a civil war. But while many would assume it’s some kind of easy-to-understand red state, blue state thing, A24 has released an image that shows it’s anything but.

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Civil War is scheduled for release April 12. In it, Kirsten Dunst and Wagner Moura play journalists attempting to travel from New York to Washington, D.C. Along the way, they pick up a young, aspiring photo journalist played by Cailee Spaeny who is about to get a baptism of fire traveling through the country.

But what does the country these characters exist in look like? Over on social media, A24 released the below image to show exactly where the divisions are in the nation and, as you’ll see, there’s a lot to discuss.

The (not so) United States of Civil War.

The (not so) United States of Civil War.
Image: A24

A few things jump out here. The first, of course, are the “Western Forces,” which include exactly one Western state—California—along with Texas. In reality, few states are as fundamentally different as California and Texas, but therein lies Garland’s point: Civil War isn’t about our 2024 reality. It’s an alternate version inspired by ours that comments on the potential consequences of our actions. And, it doesn’t really take a side or explain anything. Are the Western Forces more politically aligned with California or Texas? We never find out, and that’s the point.

This map also doesn’t make it clear who are the good guys and bad guys in the movie. Which, again, is the point. Who are the Loyalist States loyal to? Why is the Northwest a “New People?” And the Florida Alliance… well, that one actually kind of makes sense.

Having seen Civil War I can reveal that not all of these questions are answered, but seeing this map and thinking about it will begin to prepare you for the unexpected nature of the film. Tickets are on sale now.


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