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Reviews for August 10th, 2012

2016: Obama's America

Directed by Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan

      Merely a few months before the upcoming November 2012 election arrives the documentary 2016: Obama's America based on the New York Times bestseller The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza. D'Souza persuasively argues that President Barack Obama would be detrimental in many ways to the United States of America if he were elected for a second presidential term. In order to understand Obama's world view, D'Souza tries to grasp Obama's dream, a task that's easier than expected thanks to Obama's memoir, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Given the book's title, D'Souza's argument that Obama's dream is the dream of Barack Obama Sr. makes sense. Obama's father had been absent for most of Obama's life, so knew his father primarily through what his mother told him about him.

      D'Souza travels all the way to Nairobi, Kenya to try to interview Obama's family, but only manages to get an interview with his step-brother, George Obama, who doesn't mind that Obama only takes care of him indirectly by taking care of the world, i.e. reducing carbon emissions. His explanation sounds like bulls&*t as though he were hiding his true feelings about Obama, so D'Souza should have asked him more questions or sharper ones. Perhaps George was afraid to speak out against Obama, but that's something you'll have to decide for yourself when you watch the interview. At least D'Souza remains calm throughout the interview. He doesn't resort to raising his voice or annoying/intimidating his interviewees like Michael Moore tends to do.

      Philip Ochieng, a good friend of Barack Obama Sr., states many frightening things about Obama Sr. such as his anti-colonialist, socialist ideologies which have now been passed down onto Obama Jr. Case-in-point: Obama has decreased America's nuclear armament and refused to disarm the nuclear weapons of other countries such as Iran. Moreover, he has weakened NASA and required it to change its primary objective from exploring space to improving its international relations, particularly with the Muslim world.

      How does Obama try to deal with U.S. debt? By increasing taxes and reducing military expenditure. According to the disturbing data shown in this documentary, the increase in debt under Obama's term as President is more than the increase under George W. Bush's term. An increase in foreign debt would make us increasingly enslaved to other countries, thereby weakening our country even more. That argument sounds reasonable. Whom or what is truly to blame for the acceleration of U.S. debt, though? That's a complicated answer that 2016: Obama's America fails to analyze thoroughly enough. Sure, it's easy to just blame Obama and to speculate that if he were to serve a second term in office, the debt would probably increase. The debt could reach the height of Greece's debt thereby causing a complete economic meltdown. According to a wise interviewee, the total meltdown would take longer because the U.S. is a much larger and more resilient country economically-speaking. However, how do we know for sure that the debt wouldn't also continue to increase if Mitt Romney or anyone else were to take office? Are Obama's many faults systematic problems or systemic problems? Of course, a systematic problem could eventually become a systemic one, but it's important to be able to distinguish between the two types of problems, and to recognize that there's more than just two sides to every coin.

      On a purely aesthetic level, co-directors Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan, include crisp editing, fast-pacing, lively graphics and even a few moments of comic relief to make for not only an eye-opening, scary and enraging documentary, but also a highly entertaining one to boot. Even if you don't completely agree with everything stated and argued in the film, you'll definitely never look at Obama the same way ever again nor will you trust his empty promises.

Number of times I checked my watch: 0
Released by Rocky Mountain Pictures.
Opens at Regal Union Square 14.

It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl

Directed by Richard Trank Sullivan


Number of times I checked my watch: 3
Released by Moriah Films.
Opens at the Quad Cinema.

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