Neo-Confederate Movie Director Takes on New Cause

Movie director Ronald Maxwell (below, right) — the writer, director and producer of the god-awful 2003 movie

“Gods and Generals,” a wildly pro-Confederate and ahistorical take on the Civil War — has adopted a new cause: the threat allegedly posed to right-thinking Americans by undocumented Mexican immigrants. In a Sept. 17 interview with Jeff Mellott of the Daily News Record of Harrisonburg, Va., Maxwell declared that Mexican immigrants’ ultimate goal was “outright annexation” of the Southwestern United States. Adopting the so-called reconquista conspiracy theory widely touted by the radical right, Maxwell explained to Mellot that “they [Mexican politicians and intellectuals] see it as a re-conquering.” “The American people are funding their own suicide,” Maxwell said. “If we stop paying taxes, this craziness stops.”

Maxwell also last month stumped for anti-immigrant hard-liners running for Republican offices in Virginia. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 23 that Maxwell wrote in to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, which covers the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to ask: “Why on earth would we want to create the conditions in the American Southwest, or for that matter all across America, for future civil strife, or in a worst case scenario, civil war?” Similarly, in an open letter to President Bush last year, Maxwell referred to immigration as an “invasion masquerading as immigration.” He told Bush that his legacy would be described “as the President who saved (or lost) the South-West of the United States.”

Maxwell has suggested he’s working on an immigration movie before. Last year, he told the highly conservative National Review magazine that he was at work on a satire called “Armada.” While there is no reference to a film by that name in the International Movie Data Base, the Daily News Record reported that Maxwell has scheduled his new film for a December release. It is financially backed, the newspaper said, by $100,000 from Walter Curt, a major campaign contributor to hard-line Republican immigration opponents, including Virginia State Rep. Virgil Goode and former U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia. Curt was once the chief operator of Shenandoah Electronic Intelligence Inc., which had as one of its clients the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. He’s reported to have sold SEI Inc. for $75 million. He has donated over $700,000 to conservative political causes including the rabidly anti-gay Restore America PAC and the anti-tax group Virginia Conservative Alliance, to whom he’s contributed over $277,000.

Since “Gods and Generals” flopped at the box office, Maxwell has had trouble finding money for his work. Last year officials in Washington County, Va., threatened to sue him when he failed to repay their $300,000 loan for “The Last Full Measure,” a film that was supposed to complete the Civil War trilogy of which “Gods and Generals” was a part. Maxwell began repaying the loan this May after news reports made the lawsuit public.