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Movie Review

2016: Obama's America The Movie also known as “2016,” “Obama’s America: 2016,” “2016 Obama’s America”

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements, brief language and smoking images.

Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.

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1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 13, 2012 (Houston)
then widening nationwide throughout summer
DVD: October 16, 2012
Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures

CHARACTER—Does character matter in political leaders? Answer

Barack Obama

Bill Ayers

Ayers and Obama: What the Media Hid

Jeremiah Wright

Dinesh D’Souza

VOTING—Do Christians have an obligation to vote? Answer

MORALITY—What part should morality play in politics? Answer

Should Christians seek political power or should we only focus on evangelism? Answer

Featuring: Dinesh D’SouzaHimself
Director: Dinesh D’Souza
John Sullivan
Producer: Gerald R. Molen … producer—“Rain Man,” “Schindler's List,” “Jurassic Park
John Sullivan … executive producer—“Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Ann Balog … producer
Doug Sain … producer
Dinesh D’Souza … executive producer
Christopher Williams … executive producer
Distributor: Rocky Mountain Pictures

“Love him, hate him. You don’t know him.”

This is my second review of a political documentary in less than a week. This film is by Dinesh D'Souza, an Indian immigrant who came to America in the 1980s and became a part of the Ronald Reagan staff. He developed a love for America and the fact that anyone, even an Indian immigrant, could make something of himself.

In this documentary, D'Souza attempts to get to the core of Obama’s mysterious political ideology. Why do I use the word “mysterious”? Simple, no Presidential candidate in history seems to have done such a good job hiding his agenda. The documentary plays numerous clips of Obama supporters in the media who admit they did not truly know what Obama’s ideology was. They literally had no idea. As a result, Dinesh attempts to extrapolate Obama’s ideology from his friends and associates. Consequently, this is not a documentary that will convert Obama supporters. It is preaching to the choir. Critics attack the documentary as “guilt by association,” but this is only slightly true, for in Obama’s own autobiography (from which the film constantly quotes), he states, “I chose my friends carefully.” He states that he “only” befriended certain types of people, which include “Marxist professors.” Clearly a man is known by the company he keeps, and if Obama chose his friends “carefully,” then his friends are a fair way to evaluate his ideology, barring any evidence to the contrary.

D'Souza begins with Obama’s childhood. Using words from his own autobiography, he notes Obama’s obsession with a father whom he only met once. He had built up an idealistic image in his own mind of his father, but the truth hits hard. His father was a polygamist and allegedly a wife abuser. He only visited Obama once in his lifetime. Despite these revelations, the very title of Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from my Father, show a desire to follow in his footsteps. It is at this point that D'Souza shows how Obama Sr. was a revolutionary who had helped the government leaders of Kenya overthrow Britain. He shows Obama Sr.’s hatred for the West and for what he perceived as Western imperialism.

Copyright, Rocky Mountain Pictures

In one of the most interesting sections of the documentary, Dinesh interviews Obama’s poor step-brother who is living in a shack. That step-brother, George Obama, shows character. He does not criticize Barack for not helping him. He declares that he is an adult and responsible for himself. I liked that. If we had that view as Americans, we would not want Obama’s “help,” either. Further, he declares that Kenya is not better off since the expulsion of the British. He even suggests that Kenya would be better off had Britain not left.

From here, D'Souza embarks on a brief history of Kenya and the socialist ideologies of the revolutionary friends of Obama senior. He further traces the friendship and associations of Barack Obama with radicals like Frank Marshall Davis (a Communist Party leader), Edward Said, the eco-terrorist Bill Ayers, and, of course, racist Jeremiah Wright, whose church Obama was a member of for twenty years—to whom he dedicated his book, who married him (well, actually he married Michelle), and baptized his children.

Ultimately, D'Souza concludes that Obama is not so much a socialist per se, as an anti-neo-colonialist. He believes that Obama is deliberately attempting to degrade America’s influence in the world, because he believes that America is a colonial nation. In some respects, the argument holds up well, as it does explain many of Obama’s attitudes about America which seem so foreign to the West. I can vouch for the fact that many countries have a false view of America which stems from the idea of Western colonialism, as expressed by the British Empire (which we revolted from 200 years ago) in centuries long past. I am not convinced that Obama is deliberately degrading our country, although that does appear to be one of the effects of his influence.

What I like best about D'Souza is that he loves America, because he sees beyond our mistakes and realizes that even when we talk about America’s short comings, it is a way of admitting that if we fall short of our ideals then we are conceding America’s superiority in ideals. America was founded as a nation where all men were created (by GOD) to be equal. If we failed in equality in the past, it is still a recognition that we should be equal—something many other countries, to this very day, deny!

Of the two political documentaries I have reviewed this past week, I prefer “Runaway Slave” for the primary reason that a fair and objective person should be able to see the truth of “Runaway Slave.” While I do see truth in “…Obama’s America,” I do not believe that it will convert the unbeliever (politically speaking, of course). Nevertheless, “…Obama’s America” does a good job of helping to unveil some of Obama’s hidden agenda. It sends a dire warning of what will happen if we continue down the path of deficit spending, weakening our armies, socializing medicine, and other socialist and “anti-imperialist” agendas. Those who are concerned about the direction of our country should definitely check out the film, if only to get a different perspective on Obama’s past, and our future.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None

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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This is an EXCEPTIONAL film—highly educational, respectful and brilliantly crafted. I must say that even my pro-Obama friends liked this film; they were shocked at what they didn’t know and are seriously rethinking their stance. The great thing is that they trust the info Dinesh presented. How can you not trust him, given all the research and backup info presented? Even if you think you know all about Obama (like I did), you need to see this movie. You will definitely learn a lot from it, including historical facts. Visiting the places that Obama lived added so much depth to the film. Thank you, Dinesh, for a wonderful film that comes at a perfect time, right here, right now.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Celeste, age 40 (USA)
Positive—I recommend this film 100%. Superb respectful journalism. By selecting first-hand sources and refraining from conjecture or supposition, the creators of this documentary have succeeded in presenting important facts for the open-minded of the USA. It will not appeal to biased unthinking voters. I liked the reminder from the preamble of our U.S. Constitution, “We the people.” Hopefully, many people will view this before voting in the election of 2012.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kathy, age 60 (USA)
Positive—This is a political documentary, so understand that it isn’t made for chair-gripping excitement. And while it is created from a point-of-view that is critical of President Obama’s policies and especially his view of America, I didn’t feel it was a hit piece on him personally. It most definitely and explicitly is not promoting a “birther” conspiracy or other such attack on him personally. Rather, it is an attempt to explain Barack Obama and the motivations for his presidency.

For people who find him strangely at odds with some of the traditions and historic policies of most of his predecessors, this film offers an intriguing and plausible explanation for what drives the Obama presidency. It is then up to viewers to decide first of all if it rings true and then if that is the direction they want their country to go. As another reviewer said, it is vital that we pray for our President and not tear him down. But if a person is going to vote, they ought to do so in an informed way. In my opinion, this film is not destructive but instructive, and I recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ed, age 54 (USA)
Positive—This film was well worth seeing and is presented in an interesting way that doesn’t feel like a documentary. I think what makes it unique is how Mr. D’Souza speaks from his experience as an immigrant coming from India to the U.S. for his education. While living here, he came to understand and appreciate our freedoms. Throughout the documentary, he is seeking to gain insight into who our President is and what motivates his actions. Because Mr. D’Souza is actively searching for information, he comes across as intellectually curious rather than seeking to criticize or judge. I was particularly moved by the interview with Obama’s half-brother, George. He has lived a hard life in Africa, yet is well spoken and gracious towards President Obama. Also, emphasized by several people interviewed, is how the economic strength of the United States affects economies throughout the world.

In 2008, Barrack Obama ran on “hope and change,” it is clear, by the evidence of his actions displayed, that part of the change he wants is to weaken this country. As a citizen, it is my right and privilege to vote and along with this privilege comes the responsibility of being informed and seeking out the truth. Proverbs 16:21 says, “The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction“. It is essential for me as a Christian and citizen, to learn all I can about those running for office, especially our president. It is not wise for me to simply follow the crowd, believe everything I hear or read, and hope for the best. I need to pray for wisdom and discernment before I cast my ballot. This documentary helped me learn more about Barrack Obama and how what he does, as leader of the United States, affects both this country’s future and that of the entire world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stephanie, age 51 (USA)
Positive—As an Indian, I am really proud of Dinesh, he is such a genius, especially in answering Richard Dawkins and other militant atheists in his brilliant book “What’s So Great About Christianity,” and this film is equally brilliant. This is a must for every one who loves America, not just Americans or Christians, but everyone. Watch it and talk about this to others.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Cyril Thomas, age 32 (United Kingdom)
Positive—This is a must see, plain and simple. I already knew most of what I saw. A few details were new to me and very disturbing. I pray that the producer, writer and narrator of this feature length documentary is safe and not subject to any kind of reprisal by anyone who doesn’t like what the film presents.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Halyna Barannik, age 66 (USA)
Positive—Is this movie a hack job on President Obama? No, far from it. D'Souza has done a thorough job of making this a scholarly and very insightful exploration of President Obama’s life, motivations, and passions. This movie is a tactful exploration of what D'Souza thinks makes President Obama tick. I spent most of my B.A. Political Science program at the University of Arizona studying Latin American and African political development and can very much relate to D'Souza’s hypotheses on President Obama in terms of colonialism.

D'Souza is an interesting mirror of President Obama’s political growthdespite them ending up on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This is not some of the un-informed rhetorical nonsense about where he was born and how he is a devout Muslim—this is a study that should intrigue both sides of the ideological spectrum (although, left-leaning folks will inevitably disagree with D'Souza’s conclusions about where the country is going under the Obama Administration).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ezri, age 39 (USA)
Positive—I recommend this documentary. It is an eye opening explanation of the values and experiences that drive President Obama. The last portion of the film explaining his support of excessive spending, a reduced military, and the Islamic middle east is particularly enlightening. I must say that I did not “enjoy” the film, but in this election, entertainment is secondary to information. We, as Christians, must be informed voters. This film aids in that process.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—C. Nelson, age 52 (USA)
Positive—My wife and I saw the movie… We are 83 and 78 years of age and are not senile. The movie was outstanding, in our opinion, and have informed our friends that it is a must see. What bothers us is that we knew some of the facts of Obama’s background before the 2008 election, we voted Republican, but to this day we couldn’t understand how anybody could vote for Obama for any office. We are from Chicago; I am a retired Chicago Police Detective Sergeant with 46 years on the job; I know how Chicago politics works. Hopefully, this Muslim gets thrown of office in the November election, and people in this country finally become aware of how dangerous Obama is. He is a great B/S artist, but then so was Adolph Hitler.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Don H., age 83 (USA)
Positive—I enjoyed this documentary! I felt it was done in great taste—as it does not come across—nor was made—as a bash Obama movie. I felt D'Souza was fair to literally search for the facts and go where they were. He did what all of us don’t have time to do. I applaud his work on this project and am so thankful for it. I feel as though anyone who even remotely is wondering about this upcoming election NEEDS to watch this movie. I went with my hubby tonight and am taking my 11 year old daughter this next weekend. My biggest disappointment was that by far my hubby and I were the youngest in the theater, and we are mid 30’s. Since getting home, I have been marketing this film for the younger generation—they need this film in order to become more aware of what exactly is going on in our nation. We know the media will NOT present such facts—in fact, they try to hide them. Therefore, we need to applaud Mr. D'Souza for being so brave and tenacious in order to bring such information in the theater for all of us to see and evaluate.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—MB, age 35 (USA)
Positive—This movie is excellent for giving some needed background to the life history of our president. It is unfortunate that we did not have this information presented before 2008. If the theory behind “2016” is true, then a second term may bring the USA into a more difficult period then we have at present. I think one would have to conclude that president Obama has indeed been influenced by both Marxist doctrine and anti-colonialism. The question remains to what degree. The second question is to what extent have the American people come under these influences without realizing it. The coming election may answer that question. I, for one, would be very interested to have more detail as to Mr. Obama’s educational career. What kind of grades did he get? What kind of financial help did he get and from what source during his educational career. What was the subject of his thesis? etc. That seems to be another mysterious aspect of our president.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joe Finkbein, age 67 (USA)
Positive—This was a really good piece of work by D'Souza. I saw it with two moderate Obama supporters: one of us gave it 3 stars, the other two gave 4 out of 5. This was not a “slam Obama” piece; it wasn’t particularly clever or composed of “gotchas,” but a thoughtful, informative, but critical documentary. I especially liked: 1) the interview with George Obama, whose version of history is so conservative and different from that of his half-brother Barack; 2) the info about nuclear weapons, Iran, and foreign policy (sad but true); 3) how so much of the movie is actually read by Barack Obama from his book. Not one who sees this movie can afterward say that he does not know who Obama is, nor how his notion of the American dream differs from that of probably 80% of his countrymen (unfortunately).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J.R. Adamakis, age 42 (USA)
Positive—Born and raised in a country that had undergone colonization by Western powers for almost 450 years, this film makes me re-examine my position on the subject of colonization. At a certain point in time in my life, I have arrived at some way of rationalizing this historical event which to this very day, as this film suggests, is still not yet really put to rest by many. Having been taught the rudiments of natural sciences and world history in High School and College, one thing I have observed is the gradual decline in the ferocity of the aftermaths of territorial squabbles and conquests over the last 3000 years or so. Somewhere in our Bible, itself, we read of whole tribes being put to the sword, annihilated, in the course of these squabbles. One could only wonder how it was like a thousand years before that event. How many peoples do we no longer see, how many DNA strains have been lost? Colonization by the West was a more benign form of territorial incursion. They invaded, battled with the existing inhabitants, and or forged alliances and promoted peaceful coexistence by imposing their ideals.

In the battle of ideals, the more practical ones will always outlast those of lesser construct. Societies that blindly stick to the less practical ideologies just self destruct over the course of history. If my ancestors were not colonized by the West, where would I have been at this time? I probably would have never heard of Christ. I would not have even been born, most likely. Colonizers and colonized peoples have paid for whatever they have gotten out of this chapter in our history with plenty of blood and tribulations. We, the survivors, should not be going after each other anymore for compensation. That would be futile. If we all did that, none of us will be left… for there is a good chance that at one time or the other one of our ancestors must have marched over to the other valley to take what the other tribe possessed. As nations and peoples, we have all sinned the same way at one time or the other. This movie reinforces this conviction.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Crisostomo, age 53 (USA)
Neutral—I’d like to start by saying I read this review for insight into the moral content, not to hear the author’s political views. I have heard Dinesh speak, and while I disagree with him in many political aspects, I do respect his approach. However, in some areas, I find him to completely ignore history. For example, he mentions that our nation was founded on the principle of all men (before God) being created equal. As a woman and person of color, I’d like to give Dinesh a brief history lesson. Our nation was founded and established by laws that declared all WHITE men as equal, African Americans were only a fraction of a human being, and women could not vote at all. Remember the Civil War, women’s suffrage, and the Civil Rights Movement?? Those historical moments would have been unnecessary if our founding fathers (many of whom owned slaves) TRULY believed that all men (before God) are created equal. I find it disappointing, convenient, and flat out denial to state otherwise. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—M.P., age 33 (USA)
Neutral—I found the movie to be quite informative and entertaining. I was saddened to read M.P.’s review. She seems angry about something. I doubt that she spent any part of her life as anybody’s slave OR unable to vote. Fact is, this country WAS founded under the principle that ALL men are created equal, period. The fact that we did not adhere to that principle for the first 100 years is our shame. But, we all make mistakes, and that one has been corrected. God has forgiven us. I wish M.P. could. She’d be a happier person.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Keisha, age 31 (USA)
Neutral—M.P’s review is spot on. I don’t understand the blind hatred from those who claim to be Christian have for the president. Well, I do, but that is a whole other conversation. Scripture mandates to pray for our leaders. He got re-elected, so move on.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—DQ, age 48 (USA)


Comments from young people
Positive—AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! And I’m so glad lots and lots of people saw it! Great film, but I gave it 4 and a half rather than 5 for overall moviemaking quality. As to the content, it may upset some, but it is the necessary truth, most of it in the words of Obama himself, his friends, family, and people who know him and/or his deceased dad quite well! What else can I say?

That Dsouza is a highly eloquent and likable man who also has a strong Christian faith (his faith not expressed so much here, as the film is not about him. That statement is in regards to his previous works and TV appearances.) is as much as I can say without spoiling this film. After the elections have come and gone, all the more reason to see this film to know what to expect, and fight to stop it (not violently—hopefully it won’t come to that—though). Would I recommend this? YEAH MAN!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bob, age 17 (USA)

Sorry, no other viewer comments received yet. If you have seen this movie, PLEASE share your observations and insights with others to be posted here. GO