“We are all shaped by our past.”
Swift shot: “It’s propaganda,” a friend of mine said, “I don’t want to waste my time with it.” While it may fall under the legal definition of propaganda, I didn’t feel that it was unfair to Obama, in fact, it made him a more sympathetic character . . . for a man I usually despise. Yea, I said it, I despise Obama, and as this is bound to be a politically charged review; I wanted to get that out in the open early. I despise him, because, spoiler alert, I almost voted for him in 2008. But then I looked past the charismatic figure, and I got to know a lot more about him. I did my homework, and I can honestly say, I was right! And that is why I despise him, because for a time I believed in his message of “Hope and Change.”
To whit, now I have an agenda too, I want to expose you to the film a lot of you won’t be seeing, because you don’t want to know the truth or think it will be so heavy-handed and unfair it will just irk you that Dinesh is attacking Obama. So, to be “Frank” about it, this review will follow a play-by-play synopsis (i.e. more spoilers abound), followed by my take. And you may take that or leave it. I will allow all thoughtful comments to be seen, but sniping comments that are just attacks, without thought, never make it on to this site anyway.
I have only tackled a political film like this once before, when I received Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West tucked into my newspaper (remember those things?) in 2008. Click here for that review, someone actually called me a pinko in the comments. I still think that is funny as hell, if you know anything about me, I find Socialism and Communism hostile, because they are the death of freedom and reason. Once you lose freedom, you lose everything! Anyway, I am rambling a bit.
2016 begins in Director Dinesh D’Souza’s homeland, India, we learn of her independence from the British in 1947, and that is juxtaposed with the 1963 Kenyan independence. Both had revolutions to end Colonialism. Simply put, here is the spoiler alert of the whole film, Obama is just an Anti-Colonial – all of his actions are explained under that guise. Obama isn’t portrayed as the Anti-Christ, there are no deplorable uses of his image to make him look fiendish, nothing overtly hostile, like I mentioned in Obsession.
Also, birthers may be chagrined to note Dinesh doesn’t speculate Obama was born in Kenya, not literally anyway, instead he correctly implies that Obama’s personal rebirth started in Kenya, following his father’s death . . . while drunk driving. That tragedy steeled his resolve . . . to take the dreams “from” his father and re-sculpt the world in his father’s misguided ideology. But, I might add, personally, that moment in the film brought a real sense of humanity to Obama that a pure attack-piece would have avoided altogether, showing how he grieved for his father. Also, it would seem that Dinesh used Obama’s own narration from “Dreams From My Father” throughout the film.
Dinesh uses his weathered copy to guide him from destination to destination in the film; it was a nice touch and added a subtle poetry to the tempo. This isn’t the kind of film I typically review though, and really it should be on DVR so that I could pause it, rewind it, dissect it a bit more. Still, as Dinesh used mainly evidence provided by Obama as his primary source material, even Obama’s staunchest supporters won’t be able to deny 95% of it is factually accurate.
On his travels, Dinesh meets different characters from Obama’s past, and in one revealing scene, he and his crew are essentially threatened with death if they keep pursuing an interview with Obama’s “Granny.” She is no relation, but evidently she wasn’t someone the locals wanted Dinesh to converse with. He doesn’t speculate, he just gets the hell out of dodge.
He also travels to Indonesia, where we learn about Obama’s step-father, Lolo, a man trapped in capitalism, corporatism and Colonialism, the very thing Obama’s mother despises, because of her short time with Obama Sr. And, unless I needed to hit the mental rewind, Obama Sr. was a revolutionary in Kenya just two years after Barack was born. So, yes, he was a radical, and his mom was a radical too. Again, unless I missed something. This is a film I will probably own even after the election, because it is historically significant, and I am always fascinated with the dissection of powerful people . . . be they good or bad. I always wonder what makes them tick.
Therein lies the rub, what makes Obama tick? Why was one of his first official acts to return the bust of Winston Churchill to the Brits, and why does he back Argentina in the Falklands dispute, why is he blocking drilling and any progress in America, why is he raising taxes to “spread the wealth,” and what is his dream for America? Dinesh answers all of these questions . . . and again, since I know most of you won’t see the film, I will just say it. Obama is his father’s son, he hates Colonials, he hates rich, elite countries stealing minerals and goods from third-world countries. He wants to essentially balance the power advantage that America now holds over the world. He wants to cripple us, to punish us for our arrogance, and more importantly, he really wants America to just be another third-world nation. In his mind, it’s like we owe the world some penance.
You can argue these facts all you like, but Dinesh also talks about the backing of Palestine, over Israel, the turning of his back on Iran’s democratic revolution while supporting Egypt’s (now) Muslim uprising, and the cutting of just our nukes. Our enemies aren’t cutting back theirs . . . again, this is all part of his plan. And in one chilling scene taken right out of the headlines (in case you forgot this) Dinesh shows Obama talking to Medvedev of Russia and explaining how he has to essentially play it cool til the 2012 election, because his hands are tied for the time being. Now, I try to keep a level head, and I try to hope for the best, but with a guy who has already started making radical changes in his first term, it chills me to the bone to think what he will do when the gloves come off.
Dinesh veers off-page a bit when he starts speaking to “experts” and that is the only place you can attack his thesis. He does a great job connecting the dots, but, sadly, whenever you deal with opinions . . . that is just what you have. Still, his experts made some great points, and I will leave that bit for you to see yourself.
If you are going to vote for Obama this election because you think he can bring about real change, ask yourself something . . . do you really know Obama? If you see this film you will have a lot more knowledge about why he does what he does, because it will all start to make sense like a clock-work compass set to failure. He doesn’t love America folks, he sees us as rapers of smaller nations that need to be taken to task for our past sins. He’s taken the dreams from his father and produced America’s nightmare. All I ask is that you think before you vote . . . it is the most important thing you can do as a citizen of these United States of America!
I’m Rick Swift, and I approve this review.