2016: Obama’s America

Bottom Line: 2016: Obama’s America is incredibly informative, but not recommended for Obama’s fans.

Directed by: Dinesh D’Souza, John Sullivan
Other Credits: Barack Obama

Contrary to films produced for pure entertainment, documentaries are only intended to attract a certain audience.  We wouldn’t expect an obsessed biology aficionado to eagerly attend the private screening for a documentary drawn directly from the Holy Bible, for example.  Add in politics and we have something else, where critical reception is nothing more than feedback inevitably biased from one’s political party.  By definition, the field of writing is an entirely liberal study; such is the reason for unending praise for Michael Moore, who, to a conservative, is likely to appear not as informative, but as dogmatic, redundant, and obnoxious.  I respect the negative reception held by 2016: Obama’s America.  A Tomatometer score of 31% isn’t entirely unexpected, as the film’s pivotal theme is being “anti-Obama”.  That is not at all to say that an American who doesn’t appreciate Obama, either, will equally detest this.  From a more Republican standpoint, the film isn’t a fascist, blasphemous insult to our current POTUS, but rather a well-intended (and well-made) warning of what may happen to America within four years or less, under President Barack Obama’s possible second term.

A second term sounds absolutely Obaminable.

Obama’s America is the directorial collaboration of Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan, two extremely conservative minds.  D’Souza, however, leaks more impact into the film, narrating it and basing it on his own 2010 book The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  He also shares quite a few connections with President Barack Obama (just scratching the surface, both are descendants of foreign backgrounds and both were born the same year), which emphasize his views on a personal level.  The documentary begins with the beliefs anti-Obama Americans have been accustomed to for quite some time, i.e. the fact that Barack made dozens of promises prior to his election and has yet to fulfill a single one of them.  Once we have that drilled into our psyches once more, D’Souza moves on to examining several more crises, for which we could say President Obama is responsible either for creating or building upon.  Without spoiling anything further: it goes without saying that by the end, we wonder how much we actually knew Obama upon entering the theater, and we fear for what America will look like in 2016, if he is reelected.

We look at the themes dealt with in Obama’s America and it’s quite surprising how cautiously they are assessed.  It’s clear from the film’s very exposition that Dinesh D’Souza is every ounce anti-Obama.  Yet not once can D’Souza be heard delivering hateful comments squarely at the President.  Morgan Spurlock raises his voice much more loudly and frequently in Super Size Me.  The film is a heavily premeditated study, well supporting every fact, regardless of the political standpoint.  But again, it isn’t for everyone.  I guarantee that although this hour-and-a-half-long docudrama will strike an Obama fan as offensive and insulting, it will strike anyone of the opposite demographic as a highly thought-provoking analysis.

B PLUS

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7 thoughts on “2016: Obama’s America

  1. I wonder Ruth, if you would still bet Obama would have done the same thing after 9/11 given how he has been more than simply mis-leading but downright dishonest about Americans being killed on American soil (in Libya) by terrorists? He will always say whatever he thinks he should and when he gets tangled in his own web, the media will always give him a pass.

    • You bring up a great point, Jesse (and thanks for commenting). He probably would act (albeit unfavorably and given a pass by the media, as you mentioned) if September 11th happened during his presidency, but much more because of the government’s worry over the issue than his own.

  2. Hi Alexander, glad to hear a fellow blogger who not only saw the film but actually praised it! I saw this a couple of weeks ago and it was eye-opening.

    “It’s clear from the film’s very exposition that Dinesh D’Souza is every ounce anti-Obama. Yet not once can D’Souza be heard delivering hateful comments squarely at the President.” I totally agree, I don’t see D’Souza bashing Obama at all, I do feel that it’s well-intended and his conclusion stemmed from a careful study of the subject matter. I quite like the way he shaped the film, from his own journey to the three countries, including my hometown Jakarta, it felt like a ‘road movie’ at times.

    I’m not exactly an Obama fan, less so about his politics, though I can’t vote yet in this country. But what I found so amazing is how people readily defend him no matter what and even the slightest critic on him is immediately labeled false, or like you said, blasphemous. I mean, these coming from the same people who were so vile towards Bush just four years ago!

    • I guess I can reply by expressing that I’m with you there. I just don’t understand what there is to like about Obama; everybody’s all gaga over the fact that he’s the first African-American President, which is without a doubt something outstanding, but they’ve gone so far they don’t even realize what he’s done to the country. I can’t really say I’m the voice of reason for something like this (after all, I’m only 14), but I’m getting sick of Obama making Bush take the fault for all of this. A) he didn’t have many better choices than to send out troops after 9/11, and that’s what seems to be the root of everybody’s scathing hate for him, and B) Obama is only making things worse. I won’t say I love Romney, either, but seeing here, he’d be so much of a better POTUS. “[E]ye-opening” is a great way to describe this documentary. Thanks so much for commenting so thoroughly. I appreciate it.

      • Hi Alexander, wow you are one eloquent 14-year-old! I never would’ve guessed your age from your writing. Yeah it’s really too bad that people are so ‘blinded’ by this administration, particularly Obama himself. 9/11 is really a tough circumstance for ANY president and I bet Obama would’ve done the exact same thing had he been in office. I think the fact that such an enormous attack hasn’t happened again here in our soil is something we should thank the Bush administration for, yet I saw that NY Times once again blamed him for the attack in the first place! Ah well, I just pray that people’s eyes would be opened before it’s too late. Thanks for reviewing this, I really think it should be said.

    • We’re in slight disagreement here, but not nearly as much as I would expect for the first person to comment on the post. I’ve never liked Obama at all, but I’ve never had a good reason. This film gave me several, and now I’m scared for what will happen in his inevitable second term. You’d be surprised at how much America’s debt has increased just within the presidencies of W. and Obama, how much it is predicted to increase by 2016, and–dear God–who Barack Obama’s mentors are. An Obama fan would instantly call this blasphemous propaganda, and unless I did some research and concluded that propaganda can be thoroughly factual, then I must infinitely disagree.

      If you’re not an Obama fan, you should definitely see it.

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