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The movie of choice this week for people who hold the beliefs that A) America is the strongest, best-est country that God ever virgin-birthed and B) that that nation somehow just isn't strong enough to survive eight years of centrist Democratic leadership, Dinesh D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America actually does not touch on 2016 much at all.

Instead, it distills the anti-anticolonialist jeremiads of D'Souza's books—which already were to academic argument what fruit snacks are to fruit—into an eminently fast-forwardable travelogue through Nairobi, Kenya, Indonesia, and a magic-hour D.C., where D'Souza slumps about Droopy Dog–style in contemplation of the monuments and where flags are forever dancing on winds that we must presume are the world's most exceptional.

For what it's worth, his thesis concerns the reasons Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British Embassy early in his presidency. The only answer D'Souza entertains: that Obama is a Mau Mau anticolonial revolutionary driven to impress his dead, absentee father, a Kenyan who dared to write in 1965—two years after his homeland achieved its independence—that government regulation might sometimes be needed to rein in private industry. You might object, “But Obama has spent almost zero percent of his life with that father, and something like 75 percent of his life in the same private schools and Ivy League universities and institutions of power occupied by every other president of either party in recent American history.” D'Souza's counter is to brandish Obama's memoir and proclaim, “Notice it says Dreams From My Father, not Dreams of My Father.” Also: Bill Ayers! Jeremiah Wright! Edward Said, who once taught a class Obama took! NYU psychology professor Paul Vitz shows up to explain that the father who abandons a boy has a profound influence on the shaping of that boy, an argument that lays bare D'Souza's debased rules of evidence: the fact that Obama senior was never around to radicalize Obama junior only proves that he did radicalize Obama junior. That explains why junior later went on to fulfill the dream of all Kenyan revolutionaries of the 1960s: passing the health care plan Republicans came up with in the '90s.

Now might be a prudent time to ask if, of all recent presidents, Obama is the one whose daddy issues have most endangered Americans.

Still, the film is a sleepy dud, a polemic that, like D'Souza himself, is at once both outrageous and deeply boring. Mostly well shot, it makes Michael Moore's films look cheap by comparison, but Moore at least dares some adversarial interviews, and he bothers to chart a connection between government policy, corporate decision making, and the lives of actual people.

The best D'Souza comes up with is to try to make Obama look like an asshole for not taking care of that half brother who lived for a while in a Nairobi hut. At first, this seems contradictory—if Obama were an anticolonial Marxist with Africa on the brain, certainly he would funnel some aid to his far-flung family, right? But D'Souza can fit any fact into his conspiracy. Turns out, George Obama—who appears in an interview—thinks Kenya would have been better off if it had let the white colonists run the place a few more years. The only possible conclusion, according to Mr. Dinesh D'Souza: Barack let George languish because George isn't down with the revolution.

The only true surprise here is D'Souza's haplessness in constructing both film and argument. Here are the five funniest things that somehow wound up on-screen:

5. After several baffling minutes of watching of D'Souza squint at poor people from his seat at a Jakarta coffeehouse, we're rewarded with a lingering shot of his khakied ass as he clambers onto a motorcycle.

4. Some actor actually got roped into playing a handsome young Dinesh D'Souza in re-created footage of an international-student mixer at Dartmouth. Other priceless re-creations: black hands digging the grave and crafting a cairn for Obama's father; an Obama figure, seen from behind and in pristine high-tops, approaching that grave, weeping, and drizzling dirt along the marker; young Dinesh, slinging on a pack and saying farewell to his family and homeland and the grandfather he calls "slightly anti-white."

3. The filmmakers' decision to have interviewees speak into cell phones when D'Souza was not himself present, and then to cut on occasion to D'Souza, on a grassy lawn, asking his questions, as if the production had money for two different film crews in two different places at the same time but not the money for Skype.

2. One killer jump cut that boils D'Souza's argument to its essentials: stock footage of skinny, loinclothed Third World laborers pickaxing a ditch followed immediately by Obama looking angry in the Oval Office.

1. D'Souza has made a career out of convincing white American conservatives that his personal history qualifies him to be the arbiter of which brown folks can and can't be trusted. Remember, he's the chap who declared American racism to be dead in 1995—something he was uniquely equipped to argue, considering his first experience of life here was those Dartmouth mixers. That claim is echoed in the only sequence here that achieves the inspired lunacy of a Glenn Beck.

As D'Souza, in voiceover, describes debating Jesse Jackson on the topic of whether this is a racist country, we're treated to the sight of a hunky young black man sauntering up to a stool in the kind of neighborhood bar you might see in a Keith Urban video. He sits and smiles; the two twentysomething white guys on either side of him eye him, then each other, and then march off without a word.

The black man slumps, sadly.

D'Souza, meanwhile, is now talking about how his own hands are the same color as Jesse Jackson's, and just as you're wondering what the hell that is supposed to mean, those two white guys are back, and guess what? They weren't storming away out of hatred for the black guy—they were storming away to surprise him with a goddamn birthday cake. Suddenly every person in the bar, all white, is clapping and cheering, and the black guy—a little sheepish at first—soon is beaming with them, having learned the lesson that D'Souza wants to share with everyone who has ever made the mistake of thinking he or she has been on the receiving end of racial prejudice: White people love Dinesh D'Souza, and they would love you, too, if you would just sit there quietly and let them.

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21 comments
keatons_daddy
keatons_daddy

this movie seems to make more sense in current climate.

wfufidio
wfufidio

D'Souza is advancing a single theme to explain the complex actions of the President.  This is typical sociologist stuff:  Banfield's present-orientedness, Putnam's bowling alone, etc.  I found the most interesting aspect of the film Mr. Obama's talent for eliciting white sympathy and projection of aspirations of racial harmony.  This, indeed, is what won him the 2008 election on "hope and change" and that just isn't going for him this time around - save for self-flagellating  New York liberals.  Romney isn't my savior but at least he values America's history.

YenGuey
YenGuey

instead of simple question like 'Where is Obama from' people should ask themself who created our society of people in debt to creditors. In China, savings rate was very high so no one has to borrow very much. Here, no one every has money and almost every person I know from the US is in debt. They work longer, have less vacation, and enjoy life less. It is a genius design that most US people will never question but just keep working the rest of their lives like little slaves. They will be pacified by movies like this every now and then. It's almost too easy

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

I was reading local reviews of this POS and people are actually writing that because of this movie, they think the POTUS is the anti-christ.  Makes me SICK.  Deceivers like D'souza are by definition serving evil, so how does THAT work?

 

karlos
karlos

just another immigrant opportunist who saw a way to getting riches by writing this goop.his circle of friends suggested trafficking illegal substances from india but he's too much of a coward to try it. he's got a face of a weasel too.

dan1746
dan1746

It is so obvious that the writer is an extremist. The media never told The American people about who Obama is. If they did, he would never have become President. This movie is almost entirely in Obama's own words with him speaking from his book. So if the writer has issues, he needs to take it up with the man who is speaking through out the movie, and that person is Obama himself.

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

 @wfufidio   what good is his value of American history when he only uses it to exploit?  Where's the loyalty to the people who invested in this country?  They haven't invested in this infrastructure since the MOON WALK!  Was all that investment in the baby boomer's a bad thing?  You need to think about it.  But that BS about PRESIDENT OBAMA's talent.  you're disgusting.  Nobody wants your damned sympathy.  we want your lazy uneducated, blind, shortsighted thinkers out of the way so grown ups can talk without conservatives pimping their fascism.

YOU are embarrassing the country. and as a veteran who watched how they've manipulated the country by cutting education and building a huge military on our backs.....and THEN, neglecting the damage we suffered....yeah, you make me need a mint.  and if you don't think the world is watching this garbage.....thnk again.  Your arguments are so low and baseless, the educated masses have lost patience.  Why should we remain tolerant of YOU, when you don't even try to keep up?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5OWRRJh-PI

surfric
surfric

 @karlos I've been calling D'Souza a semi-known right wing weasel since this movie came out.  Glad to see someone else sees it.

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

 @karlos He gives good, hard working immigrants a bad name.  Comes here for a bit and ignores people who have been here 5, 6, generations building this country to watch it all go to waste by those who are sick enough to cheat the land that gave them everything.

They see who has the money with no question the ethics of how they acquired it.

Money is their god.

This country used to produce things and all they know is how to exploit it.  He's probably the reason why his country is in such deep ca-ca in the first place...the rich get more money, the middle get more work and the poor get more company.

His selfish ideals are not going to work but to destroy this country as well?  I know Cubans who pride themselves of what they've done to south florida....same thing....and they can't even see the pattern they're creating.

Why do they think their country's failures will work here?

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

 @dan1746 How do you figure?  The man is still being vetted, but somehow Mitt won't answer the simplest questions.

It's probably all taken out of context like everything else they make up about him.

Here's what the POS flick is based on. http://mediamatters.org/research/2010/10/04/dsouzas-the-roots-of-obamas-rage-rooted-in-lies/171476

 

And the president of Ireland answers lies about President Obama better

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/michael-d-higgins-takes-down-michael-graham_n_1825812.html?utm_hp_ref=world

 

But if you were interested in the truth you wouldn't believe that nonsense.

 

studiesincrap
studiesincrap topcommenter

 @dan1746 The extremist position is the belief that the sitting U.S. president probably isn't an "anti-Christian, anti-American" Marxist -- words that you might be surprised to learn *don't* come from Obama's books? 

 

Seriously, right-wing, if you just argued "Obama's policies will harm America" you might win more people over than you are with this batshit paranoia.

 

lopsided.idol
lopsided.idol

 @dan1746 Since when does writing a review critical of a "documentary" film's sources and conclusions count as extremism? 

krista_maki
krista_maki

 @dan1746 The Media told you, but not the story you wanted to hear.  You clearly want to believe that President Obama is an unAmerican White-hating, Socialist.  None of that is true.   He is a guy of above-average intelligence, who happens to be born of a Kenyan father he did not know, spent an early childhood in Indonesia, but mostly grew up in a middle class White home of WWII heroes.  He attended law school with government aid, and is thankful for it, and studied Constitutional Law, doing well enough to be selected to head the Harvard Law Review.  He loves the country & wants to help the people in it. 

 

As I have, he has seen that the Trickle Down economics pushed by the current Republican Party does not work, and wants to take a different path, one that is less biased toward the already rich oligarchs now purchasing our elections.

hetfield
hetfield

 @dan1746  So the American people were never told about material that was already written by Obama himself in his books?

calends
calends

 @ThyGeekGoddess  @dan1746 You're an idiot, "Goddess." Did you actually read the MediaMatters (an insanely biased liberal propaganda rag) article? Most of it is special pleading. They take what Obama says at face value: "I chose the name not because of race..." lol. Are you kidding me?!

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

 @phelps_tom  @simonsun69 Hardly, it's impressive when the media reports the obvious, fact-checked truth...oh, but y'all won't be havin' any of that.    LOL..after the truly pathetic showing at the NRC, you REALLY want to talk truthiness?  conservatives are the one with the "trust deficit" issues.  I love that term, as if it made lying off your arse more palatable. 

/me points and laughs.  This is utter garbage and you're embarrassing the whole country going along with it...and here's proof.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5OWRRJh-PI 

I know a TOKEN when I see one.  It's sickening.

Show some backbone and loyalty to the American people and support the real grown up in the room working the problem!  Show some flipping spine!

-signed 6th generation veteran when we should have finished warring three generations ago.

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

@calends

No, got there in a search and read the debunkery. Truth is truth no matter who's mouth it comes out of.  But the facts are out and the book is utter GARBAGE.  Any casual observer could see it, but explaining things like that to low-effort thinkers is useless.  You won't even bother to check further.  but demand I take time out of my busy day to school you.  We were more informed BEFORE we had the internet and couldn't debunk or see others debunk in our networkng.  You believe what you want.  I have a plethora of links and sources, discussions and observations that prove this guy is not even in the same area code as the truth.

Unless you believe Faux News, then all the truth in the world can't save you.

But my aren't WE mature. 

Calling me an idiot when you're the fool who won't see what's right in front of you.

Interesting how you jumped on that rather soft point when there are much more important things like, why would you want a president who got his kicks from impersonating police officers and playing pull-over or inciting a mob attack on a kid with hair he didn't like?

Are YOU a sociopath or just aspire to mental illness?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5OWRRJh-PI

 

Thanks so much for the RNC...that was the most pathetic display of ignorant I've seen in quite some time.  Hard to take though, I had to temper it with Big Bang Theory breaks to prevent loss of IQ points due to exposure.  If you are really brave as you think you are, I invite you to watch the Daily Show coverage.  "There is a 'Barack Obama' that only Republicans can see!"   ROFLMBAO!!!!!  and see why after reading the news, we check Comedy Central for intelligent discussion.  Don't expect us to stop laughing at you any time soon, but when we run out of patience with the lies and obstruction and finish laughing at you....RUN!!!!

ThyGeekGoddess
ThyGeekGoddess

No, got there in a search and read the debunkery. Truth is truth no matter who's mouth it comes out of.  But the facts are out and the book is utter GARBAGE.

Unless you believe Faux News, then all the truth in the world can't save you.

But my aren't WE mature. 

Calling me an idiot when you're the fool who won't see what's right in front of you.

Interesting how you jumped on that rather soft point when there are much more important things like, why would you want a president who got his kicks from impersonating police officers and playing pull-over or inciting a mob attack on a kid with hair he didn't like?

Are YOU a sociopath or just aspire to mental illness?

 @dan1746 

 

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