2016: OBAMA’S AMERICA
MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Dinesh D’Souza as HIMSELF
Barack Obama as HIMSELF
Studio: Rocky Mountain Pictures
Directed by: Dinesh D’Souza & John Sullivan
BY KEVIN CARR
Political documentaries are a tricky thing. Reviewing political documentaries can be even trickier. After all, depending on which side of the aisle you lean, you’re likely to either nod your head in agreement with or dismiss as utter hogwash any given film. And there’s very few things that can be said to change anyone’s mind on the subject.
“2016: Obama’s America” is the closest conservatives are going to get to “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Both movies were released in the summer before a hotly contested Presidential election. Both movies targeted the incumbent president. Both movies were embraced by their respective parties. And both movies had massive flaws that made them woefully malconstructed films.
Without regard to political leaning, “Fahrenheit 9/11” was a mess of factual inaccuracies, poorly presented arguments, half-truths and opinion disguised as reality. The movie begins with a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the 2000 election, making it look like Bush stole a slam dunk from Gore. (Fact is, it was no slam dunk for anyone. The race was neck-and-neck all night, and it wasn’t going to be an easy win for either side.) After that opening scene, which inaccurately presented something I originally watched live, I knew I couldn’t trust a damn thing in the film.
“2016: Obama’s America” doesn’t commit such an egregious opening error. Instead, it uses faulty logic and bait-and-switch evidence to make an eventual point, as long-winded as it could be. Similarly, with such a delivery, how can any of the arguments made in the film hold any water.
The movie follows filmmaker and political think tanker Dinesh D’Souza’s examination of President Barack Obama’s past affiliations. Through this line of thinking, D’Souza paints the President as a maverick socialist with extreme anti-colonial beliefs. The problem is, D’Souza never actually shows this with Obama’s own words or deeds. Instead, he engages in guilt by association.
D’Souza performs exposés on everyone from Obama’s father to friends in college. There’s some disturbing elements that surround the President in his early years, but there’s no real connection to these things and the man’s own thoughts and ideals. His father is presented as an absentee parent, so how much influence could really be from there? And his friends and acquaintances over the years might be people with problems, but I saw nothing that demonstrated Obama had the same beliefs.
Were all of the points in this film laid out on a murder board from a basic television police procedural, there’s be lots of photographs with red yard coming off of them. However, none of those pieces of yarn could actually connect to the lone picture of Barack Obama in the center of the board.
In the end, “2016: Obama’s America” will make the die-hard Republicans cheer, but it’s not going to change anyone’s mind… just like “Fahrenheit 9/11” made the Democrats excited but resulted in zero effect on the voting public.
The DVD comes with just the film itself and no special features.