Knowing Worker’s Spatula’s popularity among the rebel youth and our passion for the subject, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo better known as HBO, have invited several Worker’s Spatula writers to a special screening of the pilot episode of their new documentary series, Confederate.
Confederate tells the story of how the US, as a major imperialist state, has somehow managed to preserve slavery as a major pillar of its domestic economy well into the 21st century. The series’s pilot episode begins with a narrator explaining the history of the Republican Party, which began as a bourgeois revolutionary institution bent on overturning slavery. However, the party’s reliance on the imperialist bourgeoisie engaged in settler-colonial conquest of North America meant that the Afro-American masses and the radical left of the party were betrayed to the very southern slave-owning aristocracy the party set out to overturn in the first place.
The narrator is then revealed to be an Afro-American political prisoner in a forced labour camp, explaining this history to his fellow prisoners as he finishes his sub-par meal in a crowded cafeteria.
The pilot unflinchingly portrays the trials and tribulations of modern-day slaves in the United States today, through vignettes of their everyday lives, including painfully rare and short breaks for family, violent confrontations with labour camp guards, and struggles with mental health issues. If the pilot is anything to go by, this series will be extremely uncomfortable, but necessary, viewing for US audiences.
Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss hinted at big plans for on-screen depictions of relevant historical and social issues in the future during the question and answer session with the Worker’s Spatula team, including an alternate history drama in which Hitler had been born in the Americas and committed genocide against indigenous peoples of the continent, and a drama about a dystopian future in which fascists and socialists are frequently depicted as part of one common ideology known as “totalitarianism”.
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