Alex Garland's 'Civil War' & the Intersection of History and Fiction

Calling all history buffs and film nerds! Alex Garland’s highly anticipated new film, Civil War, premieres this Friday. The English novelist, screenwriter, and director has built a remarkable career by mastering intricate and expansive concepts through imaginative and captivating narratives and striking visuals.

Before becoming a director, Alex Garland was a novelist. His debut novel, The Beach, transported readers to an unspoiled seashore inhabited by like-minded travelers, weaving together drug culture references, hallucinatory sequences, and vivid depictions of excess and utopia.

In Civil War, Garland immerses audiences in a dystopian future where a second Civil War ravages and fractures the United States of America. The tension, intrigue, and thought-provoking themes promise to captivate viewers in a heady dystopian world once again. 

The film follows a team of journalists (Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura) who traverse the United States, capturing the chaos and impact of conflict on society. It serves as a warning for all Americans as we approach another presidential election. 

In a recent interview, he emphasized that the film serves as an argument against political polarization. He challenges the assumption that certain states could never unite under any circumstances. The movie paints a worst-case scenario where American society unravels, and frontline journalists grapple with the chaos.

According to an AP News article, “Civil War is an ominous attempt to turn widely held American anxieties into a violent, unsettling big-screen reality. Garland’s film opens Friday — the anniversary, to the day, of when the Civil War began in 1861.” 

Before this blockbuster speculative fiction movie premieres this Friday, brush up on your knowledge of the actual events of 1861’s Civil War by watching films like Saving Lincoln and The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams, streaming on TheArchive

Saving Lincoln was filmed on the backdrop of authentic Civil War-era photographs. This film tells the true story of 16th President Abraham Lincoln's relationship with his bodyguard, U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon. The banjo-playing Southerner foils repeated attempts on the President's life and keeps him functioning during the darkest hours of the Civil War.

Lastly, in The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams, a man finds himself torn between the love of his homeland, the love of his family, and the love of a woman in this period drama—adapted from a true story. Robert Adams is a Southern gentleman who meets Eveline McCord, a beautiful and intelligent schoolteacher from the North. Robert falls deeply for Eveline and asks for her hand in marriage, but soon enough, war breaks out.

Looking for even more ways to watch and enjoy excellent movies & TV series?!? Head on over to YouTube and subscribe to The Grapevine TV, Multicom Entertainment, and TheArchive.These channels are dedicated to aficionados and lovers of cinema. You’ll find rare, retro, and restored films and TV, ranging from indies and series to Oscar-winning docs, unearthed MOWs, a killer horror library, and MORE! 


TheArchive channel is dedicated to aficionados and lovers of story, craft, and silver screen fun – streaming rare, retro, and restored films and classic TV. From indies and series, to Oscar winning documentaries, unearthed MOWs, and a killer horror library, TheArchive delivers forgotten, never-before-seen gems for free and many in 4K. Marilyn, Karloff, and Orson Welles stream alongside Reese, Keanu, and Samuel L. Jackson. Find true stories of Queen, Hendrix, and Sinatra, an LGBTQ library, MLK bios, and world history docs. TheArchive has the movies and shows you either saw, should’ve seen, or should be watching now!