I took a bit of a long lunch today and saw 2016: Obama’s America at Monaco Pictures. To my surprise and delight, several dozen people did the same thing. When the theater is two-thirds full for an 11:10 early matinee, something must be going on.
2016: Obama’s America is based on The Roots of Obama’s Rage and Obama’s America, both by Dinesh D’Souza. The film begins with D’Souza noting the many parallels between his life and Barack Obama’s life. Then, he spends a little time on what it meant to the United States to elect Barack Obama in terms of unity, measuring progress from the wrong paths of the past, and so forth. The shank of the film makes two primary inductive arguments:
- That Barack Obama has his father’s anti-colonialism; and
- That said anti-colonialism informs Obama’s policies and decisions.
Finally, the film concludes with an assessment of what might happen in a second Obama term—one in which he is wholly unburdened of election concerns.
It was difficult to know what to expect from this movie. Noting comparisons to Michael Moore’s films, part of me disappointingly considered that it might just be routine partisan blood in the water. Then, people I trust started coming back with reports of how somber and measured it is, with no sensationalism about it.
And indeed, that’s what you get here. This is significantly more elevated than a rah-rah movie for those already in agreement.
For one thing, its focus is tight. It would have been easy to make this a laundry list indictment, and it isn’t. Largely, the film makes the arguments I’ve outlined above, and that’s all. For another, there are almost no moments of levity. This is not a chucklefest by any means. D’Souza clearly intends for his effort to be taken seriously, and it shows. (There is just a bit of spastic editing—rapid cuts, shuddering, and so forth—but not enough to sustainedly distract.)
The film makes ample use of Obama’s reading of Dreams from My Father. D’Souza interviews an impressive lineup of subject matter experts to make his arguments. He interviews George Obama, the president’s half-brother. He interviews friends and associates of both of Obama’s parents. He builds evidence in an honest, straightforward, unadorned way, and when he is finished the result is nothing short of compelling.
Dismissals of 2016: Obama’s America—and there are several out there, from reliably liberal sources—are simply trying to squelch interest in it. Any left-wing reviewer who actually watched this film knows very well it’s not typical red meat, and in dismissing it, is desperately trying to keep anyone persuadable from seeing it. I think there’s significant word out on this one, though.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are an undecided voter, please see this film. In fact, I may even help you with that.
If you are an undecided voter in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Wisconsin, I will pay for your admission to 2016: Obama’s America. Email me so we can chat about it just a bit. I will honor this offer for the first ten respondents.