The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek
Film Review by Kam Williams
Over the years, Ken Burns has shot numerous historical documentaries covering such slices of Americana as Baseball as The Civil War. The latter is the subject of satire in this irreverent mockumentary mimicking the tone of the Emmy Award-winning director’s typical production.
The plot revolves around The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek, a mythical engagement said to have turned the tide in favor of the North. The film focuses on the roles played by four unlikely heroes that fateful day: a gay colonel (Matthew Ludwinski), a nerdy fugitive slave (Barron A. Myers), a geriatric Chinese launderer (Scooter MacRae) and a one-armed prostitute passing as a drummer boy (Mara Kassin).
Ala Burns, the picture features a profusion of talking heads, self-impressed experts who wax romantic while weighing-in about what transpired 150 years ago. Unfortunately, this one-trick pony isn’t very funny, as its running joke wears out its welcome after a half-hour or so.
It might have helped if the flick had a deeper message to deliver beyond one advocating inclusion regardless of age, gender, color or sexual preference. By comparison, the similarly-themed C.S.A. (The Confederate States of America) was a spoof which proved far more thought-provoking because it created an alternate universe where slavery still existed because the South won the war.
Even though the overambitious The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek misses the mark, first-time writer/director Wendy Jo Cohen exhibits sufficient potential to make me curious about her next venture. What’s next, a Glee-inspired, musical lampoon of World War II with black GIs serving alongside openly-gay GIs in an already integrated military?
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributor: Wide Sphere Films
To see a trailer for The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek, visit
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