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 a 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 0 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.

Details

Rated PG. Written and directed by Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan. Starring Dinesh D'Souza, Paul Vitz, Shelby Steele, George Obama, and Alice Dewey. Now playing.

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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's 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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17 comments
JazzyJim
JazzyJim

As the Republicans are busy trying to disenfranchise 20,000,000 voters, use propaganda like this movie that will go next to Goebbels best efforts and attack women and the 99% whom didn't get the Buch Corporate Welfare entitlement of $5 Trillion Dollars + Bush's $5 Trillion Iraq war + Bush's $5 Trillion Dine and Ditch economy - the Republican Taliban - or American Taliban as so elequently identified by "Newsroom" last week - will continue to blame the 99% for Bush's crimes against America.  Has anyone heard this GOP party - own up to it's disaster between 2000-2008 - when an election (or two was stolen)?  So, the Republicans have given us this: Voter Theft, Spying on Citizens, the worst economy in nearly 100 years, two Bush Wars, Welfare to 1% while blaming the 99% tax payers whom bailed out the Bush deregulated banks, saved Detroit and killed Osama Bin Laden - without a war in Pakistan - for not fixing the Bush mess - SOONER? Are you F'n kidding me?

 

Romeny and Ryan aka Dumb and Dumber - are the new Koch meat puppets (aka - they have their hands up their behinds making their mouths move.  They are spending unprecendented amounts of money on movies and propaganda like this - so that Mitt the Twitt will deregulate and end the EPA so that they can dump in our water, air and land without retribution; create a third world laborer - and keep 40,000,000 Americans on death row without insurance, deny 20,000,000 voters from voting via their voter suppression acts 32 or 33 Republican States - after they stole Florida in 2000 and Diebolded Ohio in 2004.

 

Republicans are the Taliban - they must be stopped.

kaptah3
kaptah3

"Obama is evil and must go", "NOW IT MAKES SENSE", "GO SEE THIS FILM"

Sure, let's get the black man out of the WHITE house. Isn't this the basis for all the renting of hair and gnashing of teeth? Not to forget that the WHITE man was the original illegal alien in this Republic called America. Take your Constitution and Bill of Rights with a grain of salt. Go ask the plains Indians what they think of WHITE America.

 

Not to worry, you'll get your Great WHITE Hope soon enough, and more than likely, a Republican controlled Congress. Wowee, things sure will be looking up then, President Romney and his side kick Robin (a.k.a. Paul Ryan) will wave their magic wand and undo the damage started by George W. Bush.

 

Isn't it ludicrous to blame the first Black President with everything? It's a given that the GOP beat Rush Limbaugh to the punch by planning to make Obama fail. Well guess what, despite the best efforts of you conservatives, their is no Osama Bin Ladin, and we are out of Iraq (which both Bush's put us in).

 

I lean neither right nor left. I could give a s_ _ t who wins. It just irks me to see so many illegal aliens pointing fingers at a man of color.

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @kaptah3

 Palinista from Glennbeckistan - this goes next to Goebbels best films and "American Carol" as the cr*p of the Kochwhores and the Republican arm of the KKK.

Ella
Ella

 @kaptah3 Regardless of race. He sucks.

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @Ella  @kaptah3

 Republicans are evil: They want to kill democracy - disenfranchising 20,000,000 voter after stealling Florida and Ohio.  Why do Republicans hate the constitution and freedom?

 

Can you please point out from this list - what is incorrect.  We would love to see your support:

ideological purity

compromise as weakness

a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism

denying science

unmoved by facts

undeterred by new information

a hostile fear of progress

a demonization of education

a need to control women’s bodies

severe xenophobia

tribal mentality

intolerance of dissent and

a pathological hatred of the U.S. government

 

"They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves  conservatives and they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban." - Newsroom 8/26/12

 

Why should 20,000,000 Americans be forced to now get IDs when in the 5 years of Bush's reigh of terror and after 196,000,000 votes there were only 86 cases of supposed Voter Fraud?  .00004 percent of that number?

slevy11
slevy11

i loved the movie 2016.  I voted for obama but from 3 months into office....didnt agree with ANything obama did.  NOW IT MAKES SENSE.  thank you Mr. D'Souza for putting it together

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @slevy11

 No, I doubt you did, because you would have to be completely moronic to let the party that created the mess - screw us over again - they've done nothing and continue to obstruct.  This President has done more with one had tied behind his back in 3.5 years than Bush did in 8 years.  Including ending the Bush Iraq War, killing Bin Laden and stopping the Bush Great Depression - all while the Republicans cheered on the demise of our nation - and after they screwed us over.

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @slevy11

 The Koch Bros., Teabbaggers put this together and there is more truth in a Roadrunner cartoon.  But you're a moron, so...why bother.

bit_kahuna
bit_kahuna

 @JazzyJim maybe cut down on the coffee or something - there's no need for the name calling to people commenting here.  amazing how you think you have a monopoly on truth.

bit_kahuna
bit_kahuna

laugh, sneer, condescend all you want.  obama is evil and must go.

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

@bit_kahuna

I hear you have a propaganda movie out.  Can you please point out from this list - what is incorrect.  We would love to see your support:

ideological purity

compromise as weakness

a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism

denying science

unmoved by facts

undeterred by new information

a hostile fear of progress

a demonization of education

a need to control women’s bodies

severe xenophobia

tribal mentality

intolerance of dissent and

a pathological hatred of the U.S. government

 

"They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves  conservatives and they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban." - Newsroom 8/26/12 - A. Sorkin

You can't make sh*t up though - so bring it Charles - not liking to hear the truth is not a good enough answer:

Why should 20,000,000 Americans be forced to now get IDs when in the 5 years of Bush's reigh of terror and after 196,000,000 votes there were only 86 cases of supposed Voter Fraud?  .00004 percent of that number?

 

cwillis13
cwillis13

Poor Alan.  His disdain for our great country is very evident. 

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @cwillis13

 Republicans disenfranchising 20,000,000 voters.

Republicans wanting 40,000,000 Americans to go without insurance, but are okay giving $5 Trillion in Tax Revenue to 1% of the nation - while screwing over 99% of the country.

You are the teabaggin Taliban of the GOP:

ideological purity

compromise as weakness

a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism

denying science

unmoved by facts

undeterred by new information

a hostile fear of progress

a demonization of education

a need to control women’s bodies

severe xenophobia

tribal mentality

intolerance of dissent and

a pathological hatred of the U.S. government

 

"They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves  conservatives and they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban." - Newsroom 8/26/12

 

Why should 20,000,000 Americans be forced to now get IDs when in the 5 years of Bush's reigh of terror and after 196,000,000 votes there were only 86 cases of supposed Voter Fraud?  .00004 percent of that number?

julieandave95
julieandave95

The movie 2016 is fabulous. Excellent telling of Obama's life and the people who influenced it. Everyone should see this movie - Obama supporter or detractor. You need to know the ideologies and influences that created the President we now have in office, and where Obama would like to take the USA in the future. Hint: It is not the America our founders wanted. I was very impressed with the way the information was presented and the research which went into this film. GO SEE THIS FILM.

JazzyJim
JazzyJim

 @julieandave95

 Did you see it at Jesus Camp where you also deny science and evolution?  I bet you did!

 

Republican Taliban.

Spectrum1
Spectrum1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 YOU OBVIOUSLY SAW A DIFFERENT MOVIE THEN ME, WHAT i saw was the least fact based INNUENDO RUMOR FILLED PIECE OF LOUSY FILM MAKING REMINDING ME OF FILMS SUCH AS REEFER MADNESS AND THERE FACT BASED TRUTH AND BALANCE...

 

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