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(2012) (Documentary) (PG)

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Documentary: Conservative political commentator Dinesh D'Souza attempts to link what he terms President Obama's socialist policies with the anti-colonialist views of his late father.
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza tries to expand on the theories put forth in his best-seller "The Roots of Obama's Rage" with this provocative new documentary that uses some brief reenactments, first-person commentary, and the usual talking-head interviews to argue against reelecting President Obama for a second term.

D'Souza depicts the Commander in Chief as a thinly veiled Socialist unduly influenced by the anti-Colonial beliefs of his Kenyan father, the outspoken Rev. Jeremiah Wright and other radicals. It also acknowledges his charm and politically savvy, especially in reaching out to young voters in 2008 and white America.

OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
Our reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a few paragraphs about the film's artistic merits.

I have given the new documentary, "2016: Obama's America," a score of 6 out of 10 not for any political reasons. I judge it solely on its effectiveness as an opinion piece, in arguing its side, and dispensing the information the filmmakers believe is important to their audience.

It is for conservative Republicans what a Michael Moore documentary is for liberal Democrats. The theater I saw it in was packed. They were the proverbial choir ready to be preached to. And there was thunderous applause at the end just as there was years ago at that first screening I attended of Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." As that film did, this documentary worked big time for its target audience.

I personally prefer a different kind of documentary, though. I like flicks like "The War Room" and "No End in Sight" and "The Thin Blue Line." The one great sin Michael Moore commits in all of his films, co-director and co-writer Dinesh D'Souza commits here. He's on camera too much! He makes the film too much about him.

There are too many shots of him nodding his head and reacting to the people he is interviewing. Right/left, red/blue, conservative/liberal, Republican/Democrat, I don't care. I hate wasting a good five to 10 minutes of screen time looking at your mug! There's even a shot of D'Souza awkwardly learning to hula dance on one of his fact-finding trips to Hawaii.

In a nutshell, if you have already decided to vote for Mitt Romney in November, you're going to like this film. If Obama is still your man, you're going to want to avoid it. If you are still undecided, I'd say go ahead and check it out if politics are your thing.

It's actually not the hatchet job I thought it would be, but a fairly serious-minded attempt to get to the heart of some of the decisions President Obama has made (and not made) during his first term in the White House. It's not interested in getting the other side of the story. But then again, who is these days, huh? Did it sway me, a registered Independent? Ugh. I think Captain Picard said it best: "Mr. Worf, we may be on a road with no turns." Again, I give the film a 6 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed August 24, 2012 / Posted August 24, 2012

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