This week, we talk about the new film ‘Civil War’, directed by Alex Garland, which depicts a future US that’s divided and decimated. It stars Kirsten Dunst as a veteran photojournalist, who is on a road trip with a ragtag group of colleagues. They’re driving through the war-torn north-east to reach the White House before it is stormed by rebel forces. The film has been highly praised as well as highly criticised. What is it trying to say about the state of America? Is it a war film, a political film, or both? The FT’s politics columnist Stephen Bush and US executive producer of audio Topher Forhecz join Lilah to discuss.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email us at We are grateful for reviews, on Apple, Spotify, etc.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Danny Leigh’s review of Civil War (he liked it less than we did):

– FT critic Leslie Felperin’s interview with Alex Garland:

– You can get a free trial of Stephen’s political newsletter Inside Politics – which includes a daily cultural recommendation – by clicking here

– Stephen Bush on X at @stephenkb.

– Listen to our episode ‘How to process the news when it all feels bad’, with FT foreign editor Alec Russell. You can find it in our feed

More or Less:

– Topher wants to see more interesting landmarks used in films, as in ‘North by Northwest’ and ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’

– Stephen wants to see no more ‘Ghostbusters’ ever. Here’s the FT’s 2-star review of ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’:

– Lilah wants fewer menus. She recommends 15 Fox Place in Jersey City, and Osteria 16 in Copenhagen


The FT Weekend Festival is coming back, and will be in Washington on May 4. Speakers include Nancy Pelosi. To book tickets, go to and use our exclusive discount code: weekendpodcast.

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Clips this week are from A24

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