Skip to main content

THE SECOND CIVIL WAR (1997)

USA, 1997 (MIFF 2010, Dante's Inferno)

Director: Joe Dante

“In the years since we made this movie, virtually every element has emerged in the headlines. It never seems to date.” - Joe Dante

Over 10 years after its release, with strong anti-immigration winds sweeping the US, watching this epic political comedy feels like turning on the news. Produced by cable channel HBO and imbued with the ‘take no prisoners' spirit of Mad Magazine, this film presents a scenario that is both highly surreal and eminently believable.

After a nuclear blast hits their country, a plane-load of Pakistani orphans are shipped to Idaho to find a new home. But instead of opening his arms to the young refugees, the local governor shuts off the borders. From Washington, the president sends in the army - a Tower of Babel scenario further complicated by herds of TV reporters, old rivalries among decorated soldiers and an extramarital love affair.

D Joe Dante P Guy Riedel S Martyn Burke WS HBO TD 35mm/1997

See also...

Lightning (1995)

“I always wanted to make a western - but when I got to do it, the western was over.” - Joe Dante ... Each episode of the Norman Jewison-produced Picture Windows series was to be inspired by a ... More »

THE ‘BURBS (1989)

“A divine comedy full of corrosive humor… and a film that anticipates the Judd Apatow comedy brand, full of immature adults who fulfill (and enjoy) themselves through all forms of regressive ... More »

SMALL SOLDIERS (1998)

“There will be no mercy.” - major Chip Hazard ... It's the ruthless, armed to the teeth, grotesquely macho Commando Elite versus the noble, cowardly, freakish Gorgonites in the third chapter of ... More »

PIRANHA (1978)

“What about the goddamn piranhas?” ... “They are eating the guests, sir.” ... A secret government plan involving flesh-eating fish causes havoc when, from a secluded secret pool, the leathal ... More »

MATINEE (1993)

“In this funny, philosophical salute to B-movies and the B-Moguls who made them, Dante looks back fondly on growing up with the apocalypse always in your mind.” - Washington Post ... Genial ... More »

It's a Good Life (1983)

“Something like an off-Broadway cartoon designed by Chuck Jones.” - Joe Dante ... Beware of seemingly sweet kids who ask you to drive them home and then invite you in to meet their family… ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director