FILM REVIEW 2016: Obama’s America
Today I went to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new documentary film 2016: Obama’s America. Since I’m in Massachusetts, I was concerned about finding a cinema that was showing it but to my surprise, a quick web search revealed that it’s playing in theaters all over the state.
I was also surprised to find the theater half full. On a Sunday. At a matinee. In Massachusetts.
D’Souza narrates the film and appears in much of it. At the beginning, he examines his own life in comparison to Obama’s and in fact, they have much in common. Both spent part of their early years in foreign countries, both attended ivy league schools and both married their wives in the same year. Yet for all of their similarities, the two could not be more different in their view of America and the world.
D’Souza attempts unsuccessfully to interview Obama’s grandmother in Kenya but then has a memorable interview with Obama’s half brother George Obama who lives in poverty in Nairobi.
D’Souza examines Obama’s world view through the prism of his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. focusing on his anti-colonial leanings. D’Souza also advances the idea that the absence of Obama’s father in his young life drove him to succeed, going so far as to interview a psychologist on the subject.
The film explains Obama’s success in the 2008 presidential election through a combination of factors. The fact that very few Americans knew much about Obama was part of the strategy. The media’s lack of interest in Obama’s questionable associates like Bill Ayers also played a role. In fact, the film points out the Reverend Wright controversy as the only moment that threatened to reveal this side of Obama. A significant portion of the film also focuses on the influence of radical socialist Frank Marshall Davis, a man many Americans have still never heard of due to negligence on behalf of the media. Finally, Obama succeeded in 2008 partially because of what’s best about America, that we’re a country of good people who wanted to see an African American achieve the highest office in the land.
Throughout the film, D’Souza reminds the audience that Obama has goals which are different than the presidents who came before him and he analyzes Obama’s motivations with solid arguments based on Obama’s life experience.
He asks what America would look like under a second Obama administration. The film lays out a grim future where America’s nuclear defenses are cut and the country’s financial power is reduced to the more “fair” level of other countries. The scariest part of the film is towards the end when Obama’s record of spending and debt is explored by D’Souza and former comptroller David Walker.
My only complaint about the film is that it’s full of footage of Obama. It would be difficult to make a film about Obama without the footage, but if you’re anything like me you’re sick of seeing and hearing Obama on TV. Also be prepared for the appearance of the creepy singing Obama kids, in a scene that elicited an audible groan from some members of the audience.
D’Souza’s film is thoughtful, informative and well produced. As a political news junkie, I feared there would be nothing new for me to learn but I was wrong. There’s plenty to learn from this movie and it moves along at just the right pace, always keeping your attention.
In the end, 2016: Obama’s America can be summed up in the following way:
Don’t. Give. Obama. A Second Term.
I enjoyed the film and highly recommend seeing it.
Oh, just one more thing…
The audience clapped at the end.