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California was teetering on the edge of doom. Animosity between Los Angeles and San Francisco had grown out of control. War was looming in the hearts of men and women from Petaluma to Pacoima. Then, in early May, General Juan Gomez de los Angeles led his Southern troops in an offensive against the Bay Area. Once the Battle of San Francisco began there was no turning back . . .
In Smog and Thunder is a mockumentary about a California civil war set in a vaguely recent past. The Great War of the Californias was the ultimate calamity in a state strewn with calamities. Based on the paintings of Sandow Birk, this film explores the history and the stories behind California's tragic conflict. The paintings, propaganda posters, and etchings convey the intense hatred that had built up between the two great California cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco. When the powder keg ignited, the state was quickly consumed by this horrible war.
In Smog and Thunder tells its story through the humble words of the soldiers and citizens who lived through it: infantry privates, civilian yuppies, traffic reporters, colonels, generals, and gardeners. Our crackpot historian, who smooths over war crimes with juicy gossip, leaves you feeling confused and inferior. This grand procession makes you laugh and breaks your heart, but still leaves room for lunch.