The Right Turns to Film





I’ve just learned of a second substantial, serious, very professional documentary (The Hope and the Change), soon to appear, that will be critical of Barack Obama’s presidency.  The first, 2016: Obama’s America, is apparently already beginning to do fairly well at the box office.


I’ve seen neither film yet, but I have hopes of at least being able to see 2016: Obama’s America – though probably not for (minimally) three weeks.  Still, I’m rather happy about the appearance of these two movies.


For many years, political conservatives have been confronted by the quite successful, elite-media-puffed, mulitiple-award-winning propaganda documentaries of Michael Moore (e.g., Roger and Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and Capitalism: A Love Story, which Mr. Moore explicitly characterized as a film designed to “support” Barack Obama).  And then there’ve been the docudramas of Oliver Stone.  (Docudramas strike me as a wonderful way to teach history — I have in mind the relatively recent television miniseries on John Adams,, for example — but they’re also, with their seamless interweaving of fact and pure invented fiction, a dangerously powerful way to subtly convince their audiences that false and often highly tendentious “history” is real history.)


Anyway, I’m serenely content to see the political Right finally, at long last, availing itself of  the powerful persuasive medium of film — and, thus, no longer ceding that arena entirely to the political Left, which has the natural advantage of having dominated New York and Hollywood for the past forty or fifty years.



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  • Mike Parker

    I’m wondering how many of these films (on the both sides) are actually changing anyone’s mind, or if they’re simply reinforcing beliefs already held by those who bought tickets to see them. I’m inclined to believe the latter.

    I do have to say that I’m dismayed that the documentary film as an art has shifted from informing and enlightening people to simply propagandizing. So few people actually want to learn new things and understand different perspectives; they prefer instead to have their worldviews validated.

  • Mike Parker

    (Oh, and I count myself in the “prefer to be validated” group, although I’m trying hard to break out of it.)

  • Stephen Smoot

    When it comes to people like Obama, I have discovered it is nearly impossible to report on him and his policies “objectively”. He is too controversial for anyone to be able to “objectively” lay out a documentary about him and his policies.
    As such, I have a nagging feeling that any Right Wing documentaries on Obama are going to amount to little more than conservative versions of Michael Moore’s productions.
    And Mike Parker is right: most “documentaries” these days do little more than try to reinforce a certain worldview. Especially those that have to do with politics.

  • Fred Kratz

    David Maraniss, 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner in national reporting, has written “Barack Obama: The Story” which offers the long history of the Obama family and covers in depth, the forces that shaped him. Barack Obama doesn’t appear until later chapters. It has nothing to do with his presidency which will undoubtedly come in a later from Maraniss. It should be mentioned that the book lays waste to the Obama the Muslim myth, as it should.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    The 2016 film is produced by Gerald Molen, who earned an Academy Award for production of Schindler’s List, and also produced The Other Side of Heaven, about John Groberg’s mission to Tonga. (He had a bit part as the first mission president.) The main writer and narrator is Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian immigrant and serious political writer who has published several books on public policy and society and writes frequently for National Review. He was a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and is currently president of King’s College in New York City.

  • Sage

    Just got back from seeing 2016. It was very well done. D’Souza has an interesting perspective coming from an anti-colonial background himself, or at least from a country with reason to be so. He lets Obama’s own words from his autobiography tell much of the story as well as interviews with relevant people. I found his conclusions a bit frightening, but not implausible. Was my opinion changed? I never understood his appeal in the first place. So, only my fears confirmed.

  • Aaron

    I wouldn’t call anything by D’Souza “objective.” And for me he symbolizes the problem of the right in a nutshell: it is always against something or someone, never actually for anything. It is very good at appealing to those who are angry, or disturbed, or who believe somebody is getting something they don’t deserve. I would rather watch a good Indie fielm.