Dinesh D’Souza, an immigrant to America from India who attended Dartmouth and became a young policy analyst for the Reagan administration, has written a book about President Obama’s habits and values called The Roots of Obama’s Rage. He has also made a timely movie version of the book as a documentary featuring himself as the principal interviewer. The movie was distributed widely on Friday, August 24th. It is already the most-seen documentary movie of 2012.
The movie, 2016: Obama’s America, is chilling. It consistently stuns and rivets the audience with a thesis about Obama’s values and upbringing which explains odd facts and behavior of the President which, superficially, seem to form no pattern. Yet, D’Souza’s narration provides a tight and simple explanation that is compelling. Logically, D’Souza offers us "Occam’s razor," a straightforward explanation that compels us to believe it because it is so clear and so complete in matching Obama’s actions and statements.
2016 nearly defies comparison with other movies. It does, however, bear a significant resemblance to 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, a mid-nineties masterpiece unmasking the ingenious mind and art of Gould, a Canadian classical pianist. The difference is that 32 Short Films leads us to respect Gould as an artist and thinker, whereas 2016 commands us to see reality and become disenchanted with Obama. So it is appropriate to mention another work that is similar to the movie 2016 and the book upon which it was based. D’Souza’s documentary book and movie are dispiriting and revealing in much the same way that Seymour Hersh’s The Dark Side of Camelot can change forever the reader’s opinion of John F. Kennedy. Only the turgid private conduct of Jack Kennedy escapes this analogy with D’Sousa’s movie.
D’Sousa does not offer a ranting appeal to the audience to vote against Obama. Instead he simply extrapolates Obama’s policies and values forward for four more years, to 2016. It’s all he has to do to make his recommendation about Obama’s political future.
Though many large cities are not showing D’Sousa’s movie, it is worth a day trip of driving to find it and watch it. The drive back home will be quiet and thoughtful.