2016: Obama’s America
Starring: Dinesh D’Souza
Director(s): Dinesh D’Souza, John Sullivan
Writer(s): Dinesh D’Souza, John Sullivan
Genre: Political Documentary
Runtime: 87 minutes
2016: Obama’s America enjoyed a ton of success at the box office this Summer, raking in over $30 million and becoming the second highest-grossing political documentary of all time and the fifth highest-grossing documentary of all time. The documentary is based on the book The Roots of Obama’s Rage by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, who also co-wrote, co-directed, and stars in this film. Folks who haven’t seen the film should know exactly what they’re getting into with this: it’s an anti-Obama film that comes from the so-called right. I’d put it overall just a rung or two above the political documentaries from Michael Moore.
I’m not an Obama supporter, and I’d definitely support a film that exposes him for what he is. This isn’t that film. That’s not to say that it’s not an entertaining watch, as it absolutely is, especially the first half, but it is all flash and little substance when you get right down to it. The crux of the film is that Obama’s worldview has largely been influenced by his absent father and radical communists and that Obama is so anti-colonialist that he’s trying to redistribute America’s wealth to poor countries that have been victimized by capitalist globalists. Basically, Obama is an anti-American because he has some connections to some left-wing radicals who themselves may have said or done some things a lot of American’s would consider “anti-American.” It’s not quite Glenn Beck chalkboard levels, but its close.
The film presents anti-colonialism as some uber-leftwing agenda that’s bad for America and is heavily supported by Obama. Well for starters I don’t see anything wrong with being anti-colonialist. It’d be hard to throw a dart at a global map and hit a country that wasn’t ravaged in some way by European colonialism. Europe’s, and more recently America’s, meddling in countries and quest for empire has done more harm than good for a lot places and people. But the laughable notion is that Obama is a communist who holds deep anti-colonialism attitudes and wants to collapse America to level the playing field. I’d say Obama’s a lot of things; a globalist, a corporatist, a shill for big banks, and certainly all for redistribution of wealth (to a few hands, not to the poor). Anti-colonialist isn’t something I’d use to describe him though.
The biggest laugh of the film though comes on the issue of nuclear disarmament. Apparently, Obama’s cut a few nukes from our stockpile and the rest of the world hasn’t. This is evidence of Obama’s plan to weaken the United States and level the playing field with all the poor countries. I don’t have a problem with getting rid of a few nuclear weapons (does any country really need thousands of them?), but Obama has nevertheless weakened the United States by dropping a few. He’s also apparently failed to take action towards stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Except there’s zero evidence that Iran is actually building a nuclear weapon and has a signee of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, Iran does have every right in the world to develop nuclear energy (something that would benefit the Iranian people). But this is a documentary for conservatives by a conservative, so just toss that lie right on in there because Iran’s the devil and we need to stop them.
This film, and I did enjoy watching it, is mostly trash that preaches to a certain choir. Its sole purpose isn’t to expose any great truth about Obama and his policies, but rather tell voters why they shouldn’t vote for Obama in November. If Obama wins, America will be so radically different and weak in 2016 that it’s going to be open to attack and collapse. Nonsense. And I don’t mean it’s nonsense that America will be in that position, I mean it’s nonsense to say it’ll be in that position because of Obama. It’ll be in that position because of Obama and Bush, Clinton and Reagan and almost every single president since Woodrow Wilson (I’d go back further and say Abraham Lincoln too). America’s policies haven’t changed under President Obama, nor will they change under a President Romney. Nothing changes, and that’s because there’s one party who controls these men and women who laugh at the people who eat documentaries like this up and rush out to vote for the exact same package with a different letter by his name.
America does need to watch a film telling them not to vote for Obama in November, but it should be actual truths and not boogeyman nonsense. Where’s the mainstream film exposing all that “hope” and “change” as garbage campaign slogans? Where’s the mainstream film pointing out how Obama has actually failed to do the things he campaigned on? Where’s the mainstream film showing how, under Obama, the US continues to kill civilians throughout the Middle East on a near daily basis? You’re not going to see them. This film is the kind of film that is allowed to propagate the mainstream media and be talked about by “everyone.” A film of no substance that’s designed to further the illusion of a two party system and pretends things will be different if Obama is voted out (or if he had never been voted in).
2016: Obama’s America is an entertaining watch, just don’t take it seriously like you hopefully wouldn’t take a Michael Moore film seriously. There’s no fundamental difference here other than Dinesh D’Souza is a lot more tolerable than the blowhard Moore and his trash films. That and I’m slightly more sympathetic to the conservative cause than the liberal one; though I wish both groups would cease using the labels (the left turned liberal into a dirty word and they also turned conservative into a dirty word) and just start calling themselves what they really are: big government parasites.
2016: Obama’s America is available on DVD and digital download now. You can purchase it from Amazon.com for $9.99 and I’d say it’s worth a watch, so maybe just rent it for $3.99 since you’re not going to care to watch it again.
* A copy of this DVD was provided by Lionsgate for review.