D'Souza's 2016: Obama's America second biggest political documentary ever
Financial District, NEW YORK– 2016: Obama’s America is now the second most popular political documentary of all time next to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, breaking $26 million in the box office. The film, co-directed by King's President Dinesh D’Souza, will be in 2,000 theaters this weekend.
D’Souza told Huffington Post that the idea of the film was initially to prove to the critics of his book that Obama’s father heavily influenced him. After listening to Obama’s audiobook he thought, “If only I could take some of this stuff, critical points, and make a documentary, it would be really helpful to people.”
He didn’t intend for it to be a box office hit.
The film is based on D’Souza’s books The Roots of Obama’s Rage, which seeks to reveal Obama’s hidden anti-colonial tendencies and his desire to reduce America’s power in the world, and Obama's America, which predicts what life under a second Obama term would look like.
“One effect the film clearly is having is to rally and mobilize conservatives," D'Souza told the Empire State Tribune.
“And that’s important particularly if there’s less than full enthusiasm for Romney. Getting conservatives excited and wanting to work on his behalf,” he said.
A Gallup poll reported a 7-point lead for Obama on Thursday, calculated from a 7-day rolling average.
D’Souza argues that it’s possible to simultaneously support the film’s premise and still sympathize with Obama. A feminist friend in Greenwich Village read D’Souza’s book, viewed the movie, and agreed with him, saying: “Dinesh, you’re absolutely right. Obama is an anti-colonialist—he wants to downsize America and that’s why I support him."
Even though the film has done well at the box office, D'Souza told Deadline Hollywood that a large portion of the press has refused to cover the film. D'Souza said the neglect of the film bothers him more than the criticism. "If I were Michael Moore and I were to make the number two documentary of all time, I would be on every network," he said. "I would be on Meet the Press, and I would be profiled in the New York Times, and I would be all over MSNBC."
The New York Times published a critique of the film online and D'Souza's response, in which D'Souza defended King's by saying "we don't teach Christian doctrine."
D'Souza has made several media appearances, including an interview on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," which gave the show its largest audience in eight years.
Others have called D'Souza an anti-Obama propagandist. The Obama campaign posted links to bad reviews of the film and D'Souza's previous writing.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a campaign spokesman confirmed the post appeared Monday, but the date online says Sept. 5.
"The facts show that 2016: Obama’s America is nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks," the post says.
But D'Souza said, unlike Moore, he isn't a propagandist and tried to make a film that wasn't preaching to the choir and respected the intelligence of its viewers.
Caleb Ely, a sophomore at The King’s College, viewed the movie and enjoyed it. "I was involved in the whole movie," he said. "The production was great and D'Souza did a good job."
Although he suspects that it’s mostly conservatives and Republicans who have seen the film, D’Souza said that the goal of the film was to learn something new about the president.
"The film is intended to be dense with facts about Obama, not just biographical facts but related to what he is doing. And then allow people to make up their own minds,” he said.
Find out where 2016: Obama’s America will be showing near you.