Documentary Film of Obama’s America

Documentary // 3.10.2016
Obama’s America

We’re living in a heavily charged election year, one in which emotions are flying high, and people are arguing bitterly over their highly varied political views. One film that is getting more notice in this political time is a documentary film titled 2016: Obama’s America. And, while the film came out back in 2012, it is only now that people are really paying it the attention it deserves and discussing it in the way it was intended to be discussed.

The controversial film is the work of a conservative author and commentator by the name of Dinesh D’Souza. In the film, based on D’Souza’s book entitled The Roots of Obama’s Rage, the filmmakers conduct interviews and reenactments all with the purpose of comparing D’Souza’s life to Barack Obama’s. One of the main messages of the film is that Obama’s early influences are responsible for his domestic policies.

While many viewers have found the film to be biased, it has received accolades for its production values.

At the start of the documentary, D’Souza discusses his own life. D’Souza, who is of Indian descent, discusses his experiences immigrating to the United States, what it was like to be a minority at Dartmouth College, and his journalistic work. Throughout his telling of his life story, he repeatedly points to similarities- some have said far-fetched similarities- between his own life and the life of Obama. To spur the comparisons further, D’Souza’s film features reenactments of Obama’s early life and even includes an interview with Obama’s half brother.

As the film progresses, D’Souza blames Barack Obama Sr, the President’s father, for Obama’s current rejection of American exceptionalism and tries to find the reasons behind Obama’s desire to change America. D’Souza’s final verdict and the message that he intends to impart on those who view the film is that Obama wishes to reduce the influence of the United States and, at the same time, increase the influence of nations that have been held back. The film urges viewers, indeed- pleads with them- not to reelect Obama to a second term.

Of course, many of these points are now moot, seeing as how Obama was reelected to a second term and is about to finish it. However, many who do not support Obama are dredging the film up again as a sort of “scare tactic” as to what might happen if another democrat is elected into office. While many view the film as just propaganda, it is evident that it evokes strong emotions in viewers, no matter which political leaning they currently hold.

People who felt strongly about the film when it was first released tend to feel the same, if not more strongly, now, and people who didn’t see it before are currently discussing it non-stop.The film, however, and its recent resurgence in popularity is really, most say, just further proof of the tensity of this election year, a tension that will not ease up until the final ballot is counted in November.