Conservative filmmaker behind ‘2016: Obama’s America’ says he ‘learned some lessons’ from Michael Moore, prepares for wide release
LOS ANGELES – Produced by Oscar-winning producer Gerald Molen and directed by conservative journalist Dinesh D’Souza, the controversial documentary “2016: Obama’s America” takes audiences on a journey into President Obama’s roots, painting a disturbing portrait of what it says are his plans for America if elected for a second term.
The film has yet to open wide in the U.S., but it has already caused a box office splash in Texas. The documentary opened in a single theater in July in the Lone Star State, grossing almost $32,000 in its opening weekend, with moviegoers waiting as much as 90 minutes to meet the filmmakers.
In early August, “2016” will open in over 400 screens across the country, so while it has already gotten a lot of pushback, it can expect a lot more.
The Texas theater’s manager told The Hollywood Reporter that he received complaints over the decision to show the film, and other news outlets have accused D’Souza of basing his documentary on lies. The moviemaker says he welcomes the controversy, and, ironically, says he got the idea on how to frame his documentary from another filmmaker with very different political leanings, the liberal director Michael Moore.
“When he released ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ in 2004 ahead of the election, it sparked intense debate. I learned some lessons from Michael Moore, and hopefully he might learn some lessons from me about handling facts,” D’Souza told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “This film is a thriller, whatever you think and regardless of your politics, you are going to leave this movie going ‘wow, I had no idea this was the man that has been in the White House for the past four years.”
D’Souza, who sparked debate several years ago with his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” uses Obama’s words and the words of those close to him to piece together what the President may really mean by the phrase “hope and change.”
“The reason we called it ‘2016’ is because we want audiences to question what the implications are, and what the world would look like in 2016 if he is re-elected,” D’Souza said. “It is a real mystery how he managed to convince so many Americans to vote for him, and how some of his deepest beliefs have gone unscrutinized.”
In addition to revisiting Obama’s close relationship with controversial pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “2016” probes other seemingly radical leaders and professors D’Souza says shaped the 44th President’s political leanings. It goes on to explore the dramatic deficit the U.S. has accumulated during his term, and expresses D’Souza’s own concerns regarding how things might play out if Obama is granted another term and no longer has to be concerned about getting reelected.
The Office of the Press at the White House did not respond to a request for comment.