|Runtime: 1 hour, 27 minutes|
Rated: PG (for thematic elements, brief
language, and smoking images)
Directors: Dinesh D'Souza, John
Starring: Dinesh D'Souza, Dr. Alice
Dewey, Willy Kauai, George
Obama, Barack Obama
D’Souza is no stranger to persuading others, as he is the renowned Christian apologist whose debates have been more or less sensationalized all over the internet. Sullivan was a producer for the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008). Together, they’ve put a great amount of time and effort into taking a haymaker’s swing at President Obama.
In this – their last-ditch effort to take one final blow to KO Obama from the ring of the White House – it is safe to say that not a single area of Obama’s life is left unexplored to some degree or another.
After a very relaxed and brief introduction of D’Souza through his college years and on into his working for the Reagan administration, the apologist goes into what serves as more than just a primer for the presentation, but into Obama’s Kenyan roots and his early influences, including his father’s desertion of the family at a tender age.
When we aren’t hearing Dinesh, we are hearing the auditory of Obama himself as makeshift narrator, as his book Dreams from my Father is quoted from extensively. We are given reenactments, as well as quick redirections to minute points and claims with the help of cutting visuals.
I will refrain from throwing out partisan rhetoric in a film review, but this feels more like a “dirty laundry” ad put out by a competing political rival than a documentary, and it is never hard to see and hear in one’s mind the evangelicals sitting in the audience and thinking to themselves: “Aha, and this is how the way will be paved for the coming of the Antichrist!”
We’ve had Chuck Norris and his wife’s plea to get to the voting booths to avoid ushering in an age of darkness brought on by Obama, and now we have D’Souza’s own “dooms day” prep-work from the far right. Or is this more than that? The film does not try to substantiate the “Obama was not born in America” myth often held by pundits on the right, but drives at identifying the sources of his less-than-American political ideologies.
The almost hipster feel, accompanied by changing and trendy music will not shield the blows D’Souza deals out Obama-ward. They are pretty hard to miss, and like it or not, the claims presented by Dinesh are resoundingly plausible. The food for thought on colonialism vs anti-colonialism is nicely laid out for the viewer.
After spending his time on Obama’s family – even interviewing Obama’s half-brother, George, and insisting Obama has not been a good “brother’s keeper” – the foundation of Obama’s history still isn’t done. From there, we get a look at Communist activist Frank Marshall Davis, Pentagon fire-bomber Bill Ayres, and Pastor Jeremiah Wright (among others) who have served and continue to serve as role models for Obama over the likes of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin.
But D’Souza keeps his religion out of it completely here, for which I commend him, but some of the content (bordering on partially unethical at times) is in the form of convictions shared by a great many Americans. Even the most unsupported and audacious assertions could totally be true. D’Souza’s model seems to fit perfectly.
And if it sounds and feels like a smear campaign from the right, so be it. It’s nothing that wouldn’t and hasn't been done by the other side. D’Souza might just be the right-wing Michael Moore, but more attuned brains than mine will be sorting that out. And unlike Moore’s nonsense, D’Souza’s claims could actually be true.