2016: Obama’s America is a documentary made by Ivy League Dartmouth graduate and conservative Christian pundit Dinesh D’Souza. It explores the historical and political background of President Barack Obama.
D’Souza is known as a Christian apologist, conservative pundit and scholar. The documentary is based on his books Obama’s America and The Roots of Obama’s Rage. In the books and the movie, he criticizes Obama’s roots and background. He reveals Obama’s historical background with his family and his involvement in politics before he became president of the United States.
The documentary starts off by explaining D’Souza’s background and showing similar upbringings to Obama’s. D’Souza points out that Obama’s campaigns as president have been heavily reliant on the race issue in America, and Obama knew he could play that card. The documentary explores the historical and family background of Barack. For example, D’Souza delves into the history of Obama’s Kenyan father and his role in his son’s life.
President Obama’s father was abusive and neglectful. He married multiple times and had multiple children with each of them. President Obama was born under Barack Senior’s second wife, Stanley Ann Dunham. After Obama’s father left them, Dunham and young Obama moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, and began anew. D’Souza continues to explore Obama’s early family history and meets his half-brother, George Obama. George has very contradictory views with the rest of his family. Unlike them, George is pro-colonialist rather than anti-colonialist.
D’Souza then moves on to Obama facing his father’s “ghost” and exploring the political values animating his father’s life. According to D’Souza, this began to swell a hatred of America in young Obama.
D’Souza then explores Obama’s “founding fathers,” as in the leading mentors throughout his life. These people include Frank Marshall Davis (a radical communist in Hawaii), Bill Ayers (the infamous communist anti-American terrorist), Edward Said (a strong anti-colonialist and anti-zionist), Roberto Unger (a Brazilian socialist), and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (a leading pastor and theologian in Black Liberation Theology, a Marxist interpretation of the Bible). Obama has close ties with all these men. They have influenced his worldview as well as his view of capitalism and American values.
As a half-black and half-white American, Obama knew he had a power over many Americans in his election. D’Souza explains the tricks that Obama used in his presidential election and his advantage over many candidates because of the historical civil rights accomplishment of being the first “black president.”
D’Souza also shows the audience the tactics and facts of how Obama is destroying America from within. He’s doing this by increasing the nation’s debt, reducing its nuclear arms, barring oil drilling and tapping into America’s natural resources through the EPA and other methods, and a poor foreign policy often favoring other countries. Thus, the movie also tries to answer the question, “If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?”
The cinematic quality of 2016: Obama’s America is very high. Many interesting shots show the poverty and political turmoil around the world. They help make the interviews fun to watch. At times, the movie seems jumpy from one story to the next, but a lot of information was covered because of that. The movie is more or less a companion to D’Souza’s two books.
D’Souza used statistics and interviews to show the research he had done on Obama’s history. While there are some minor questionable elements, such as brief rioting footage from the Middle East that includes the burning of an American flag, and a few references to Obama’s neglectful and abusive father, 2016: Obama’s America has a very strong moral, patriotic worldview supporting American values, including the values of economic liberty and free market capitalism. It also has a very strong anti-socialist worldview.
Socialists and Neo-Marxist/Leninist radicals like President Obama, his father and his mentors helped create and foment the anti-colonialist fervor that shook developing continents like Africa, Latin America and Asia. However, their radical politics have left many countries in those areas ravaged by tyrannical totalitarian governments full of national and international socialist despots. Just compare countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe and Cuba with countries like post-war Germany, post-war Japan and South Korea that adopted American, capitalist values rather than the tyrannical utopian ideals of the radical anti-capitalist left. The difference is stark but enlightening.
2016: Obama’s America is a documentary that everyone should watch. The content is that important, even though the structure could have been improved.
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Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are that of a Movieguide reviewer, and do not necessarily express the opinions of Charisma and its staff.