The big surprise at the box offices in the United States this month has been the success of Dinesh D'Souza's political documentary, 2016: Obama's America that is giving Batman and Sylvester Stallone a run for their money.
In a short time and even before the movie has expanded into numerous theaters it is already the 12th biggest all time success of its genre. Michal Moore, who produced the anti-Bush Fahrenheit 9/11 , timed the movie for the 2004 Bush/ Kerry campaign, just the way D'Souza is piggybacking his film on to the current campaign
While the critics have at best damned it with faint praise for its professional look, despite its dime store budget of 2.5 million dollars, the audience response built up by talk show radio as well as advertising on Fox and MSNBC, shows the movie has staying power.
Its thesis, taken from two books by D’Souza, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” and “Obama’s America,” published this month, is that Obama idolized his Marxist father who essentially abandoned his family. He therefore took it upon himself to fulfill his legacy and fight colonialism wherever he thought he encountered it. This explains his hostile attitude towards Great Britain and his willingness to take Argentina's side in the dispute over the Falklands Islands.
These aspirations were reinforced by figures to whom the future president drew close, the people whom D'Souza calls "Obama's Founding Fathers." These included the late Columbia Professor Edward Said, and Jeremiah Wright. As both these figures were extremely hostile to the State of Israel, this hostility rubbed off on Barack Obama as well.
Both John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 refused to delve into Obama's past. John McCain explicitly rejected the suggestion that he bring up the relationship between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Now D'Souza has basically made the decision and it is out of Romney's hands.
Attempts have been made to explain the surprising box office success of the movie. D'Souza himself believes that conservatives are intrigued by having a professional film that presents their point of view effectively, as well as their feeling that the media had fallen down on its job of vetting Barack Obama as a candidate.
Liberal observers console themselves that the film is essentially preaching to the converted and will have no effect on the election. They can point to Michael Moore whose film was a savage attack on George W. Bush. Bush went on to win the 2004 elections and liberals would be only too happy to lose the film war and win the electoral battle.