Anti-Obama movie surprises industry

2012-09-03 14:39
Derrik J. Lang, Beth Fouhy

Los Angeles - It wasn't backed by any Hollywood movie studio. Reviews were mostly negative. It premiered in Houston, not Los Angeles or New York. And yet despite the unconventional release of 2016: Obama's America, the movie is now among the most successful political documentaries of all time - and it doesn't show signs of cooling down ahead of the presidential election in November.

The conservative film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama's political views surprised the film industry when it took in $6.5m to land at No 7 at last weekend's domestic box office.

That makes 2016 the most successful conservative documentary of all time. It all adds up to a remarkable triumph for an indie film that circumvented the liberal waters of Hollywood.

2016 is directed by Dinesh D'Souza, a former staffer for President Ronald Reagan who is now president of King's College in New York and author of several books, including The Roots of Obama's Rage

Takes liberties with facts

The book is the basis for 2016, which claims Obama's beliefs are rooted in the anti-colonialism of his late father, a Kenyan academic who was largely absent from the president's life.

Many of the assertions D'Souza makes in the film don't hold up, including that Obama removed a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office because Churchill represented British colonialism and that Obama has "done nothing" to impede Iran's nuclear ambitions. There are other instances where the film takes liberties with the facts.

While the film's portrait of a gloomy future if Obama is re-elected might make it feel like an hour-and-a-half-long political ad, the 2016 filmmakers said they only received funding from private investors, not the Republican Party, and the movie's proceeds aren't headed to Republican challenger Mitt Romney's campaign.

Gerald Molen, the producer, added that the film's estimated $2.5m budget only came from about two dozen donors supporting D'Souza.

Although 2016 has found fans, most critics haven't been kind. Newsday's Rafer Guzman called it an "attempt at character assassination." The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey lambasted 2016 for being a "sluggish film" whose "outrage falls flat."

"I don't necessarily agree with everything that's in the movie," said Arthur Hobbs, who caught a Monday matinee of the film in Los Angeles after reading about it online. "But I do think that we really don't know everything about Obama, even after he's been in office for four years. I think that's why we needed to see this movie."

Watch the 2016: Obama's America trailer here:


  • jo.barton.92 - 2012-09-03 15:34

    Just how desperate are the republicans to win back the white house?If the bust of Winston Churchill was sent back to Britain, then were is it?They say they made a replica, well I can show you the original and say it's the replica, how would you know?Obama endured the hardest reign of any of the presidents in that he had to clean up Bush's mistakes and this is how they thank him?

      terry.handley.33 - 2012-09-03 18:01

      Sadly Barry is a political pawn of the International Bankers, as was his two predecessors. You can't deny though his statist views and that Government is the answer for everything.

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-09-03 18:23

      Excuses excuses. Obama loves to hide behind them. Obama is a stone cold liar it's pretty easy to see. He has done the exact opposite to all his campaign promises. He is exactly the same as bush Infact he is worse. They are all the same they all serve the same masters.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-04 10:15

      Obuma is bush with a black skin. America is a bank controlled state and he their puppet. What has he done other than get the sheep like yanks to wet their pants with false excitement at the fact that they believed a change had been achieved by having a president of color?

  • zaatheist - 2012-09-03 16:04

    When you understand that the Reyhuglicans are mostly Bible believing Christian fundies then you can understand that they are basically very dishonest, bigoted and racist. There are millions of these retards in the US who will quite happily pay good money to see a movie that lies about the man with the dark skin.

      Mike - 2012-09-03 23:26

      I find your comment to be quite interesting. You refer to "Reyhuglicans" as being Bible believing Christians, very dishonest bigoted and my favorite part racist...only to end your opinion with referring to the president as "the man with the dark skin." slightly hypocritical I would say, but nevertheless, the movie is, for the most part, taken in direct context from "Dreams from My Father" and related to the presidents choices in his first term. While there are some opinions and personal views involved, the movie is left open ended for anyone from any political party to build their own conclusions based on solid facts from the presidents choices and cross referenced with his own words in his book. For someone who hasn't seen the movie and probably hasn't read the book, it's irrelevant to post a comment on a movie review about something you know nothing about.

  • terry.handley.33 - 2012-09-03 17:24

    It was widely reported by the liberal media that the bust was sent back very early in Barry's reign. Barry has on several occaisons expressed anti-colonial views. One of Barry's first mentors was Frank Marshall Davis a long time member of the communist party in the US. Davis was on the board of directer's of the 'Chicago Star' a communist leaning leftist newspaper. A Professor at Occidental (Dr. John Drew) who founded the Marxist Student Foundation at Occidental, states that Barry was/is a dedicated Marxist as his close relationship with Barry at Occidental revealed. The comments about Christians below while within their right to make such statements are very disappointing and at best mean spirited and judgmental. Most Christians I know, personally will go out of their way to help someone less fortunate than they with little or no expectation of payback.

  • nedra.lib - 2012-09-03 22:35

    Did we know everything about Bush, Clinton, Reagan...Such question is clearly because Obama is BLACK and he has a Muslim name. WOW! Conservative Americans can be so DUMB, it's almost unforgiving. I can bet all the sponsors look and think like Donald Trump.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-04 10:08

      Obama is bout as black as red is green.

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