All-out war is tearing through the US in director and writer Alex Garland's upcoming Civil War, which stars Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) and Wagner Moura (Narcos) as journalists trying to capture its horrors.


Trailers for the dystopian film have set the scene for an explosive watch, both literally and metaphorically. Speaking exclusively to, Garland himself called the film "difficult" and went into its political aspects, or lack thereof.

“It's a difficult film. And it's hard to know what to say," he told us. "I just felt the less I say, the better. And the more the film says, the better. The further I am away from it seems like it makes sense."

Despite not wanting to say too much, Garland did agree that the film was 'political', but that what each viewer considers political may differ.

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"It's many sorts of different things. But it is partially a political film. Absolutely. It is," he said. "I mean, how could it not be? But also, politics is such a broad term, that in some respects, you'd have to define what you mean by that. And there is not... there isn't a consensus about what that means.

"So I could say yes, but that could be misleading. It depends what you meant and it could also depend on what a reader meant if they saw that word."

Kirsten Dunst as Lee and Cailee Spaeny as Jessie in Civil War. They are wearing press helmets and Jessie is holding a camera.
Kirsten Dunst as Lee and Cailee Spaeny as Jessie in Civil War. A24

One thing he is adamant about, however, is the importance of journalism and journalists, and how that drove his focus in the film.

He explained: "I wanted to tell the story about journalists. I grew up around them. My dad was a cartoonist on a paper and all of his closest friends were journalists. And so they were just around the whole time. And I liked some of them very much. And they were big figures in my life. And I hugely admired them and respected them.

"I slightly felt journalists have come under an increasing amount of attack. It's been growing for a long time, but it reached a kind of frenzy. And I just objected to it. I objected to it. Maybe because of my childhood, that could be the reason.

"But mainly I objected to it, because we need journalists, they're not a luxury, they're a necessity. If you have any state that does not have a free press, you've got a major problem. So the idea of journalism being eroded as a necessary force for good overall, I just didn't like it.”

Civil War lands in cinemas on Friday 12th April. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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