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Published: Friday, 8/24/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

COMMENTARY

Conservative filmmaker's view of '2016'

BY KIRK BAIRD
CULTURE SHOCK

EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects the theaters where the film will be show.

2016: Obama's America is a new documentary that forecasts what four additional years of our current president might mean for the nation.

Given that the film was co-written and directed by conservative pundit and author Dinesh D'Souza, whose book The Roots of Obama's Rage serves as the template for the documentary, 2016: Obama's America predictably postulates doom and gloom for the United States, with a weakened military, crippling escalating debt, a growing threat by Islamists in the Middle East, and Israel "on its knees."

How we get to this future is through President Obama's past, D'Souza suggests, and his film explores Mr. Obama's relationship with his absentee father as well as other friends and mentors who may have influenced his world view and politics. 2016: Obama's America makes the claim that Mr. Obama is essentially anti-colonialism, and by extension anti-West, anti-capitalism, and anti-wealth.

Republicans and conservatives will gleefully devour the film's message that the only thing we have to fear is Obama himself.

"Of course we knew that we would be preaching to the choir, but to reach across to the independents and hopefully a preponderance of those that look at themselves as Democrats," said the film's executive producer, Jerry Molen, in a phone interview.

2016: Obama's America, which opens today at Franklin Park 16 and Fallen Timbers 14, is an independent film with a limited release with theatrical expansion depending on audience interest. That hasn't been a problem. So far it's generated nearly $2.5 million, and that number will only grow much bigger as it appears in more theaters. Rave Motion Pictures, which is headquartered in Dallas and owns and operates the three major first-run cinemas in town, decided to show it here based on the volume of phone calls it received inquiring when the film would play Toledo.

The film's success shouldn't surprise anyone who knows Molen's track record in the film industry; he co-produced Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Minority Report, and Rain Man, for which he received an Oscar, among others.

Molen, formerly a Democrat, now considers himself an independent who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. He's also no fan of the president; in 2008 he published 10 predictions for the United States under an Obama administration, including "Strict new gun laws will be enacted even though he promised he would not; The phrase 'In God We Trust' will be removed from all currency; He will back away from his pledge to Israel and leave them to the wolves of Islam; and Hillary Clinton will be named to the Supreme Court."

Molen said he stands by his predictions, though Obama supporters would argue otherwise. Those same critics might suggest that 2016: Obama's America has a similar success rate with its facts, including a claim that Obama removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House, and increased NASA's budget only to gut its lofty goal to return to the moon -- all as part of his anti-colonialism views. Neither of the film's assertions is true. A quick Google search of "Obama Churchill bust" turned up a White House blog about the issue, which decried the rumor and countered with a 2010 photo of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron looking at the bust. As far as NASA, Obama did tell the space agency to scuttle plans to return to the moon, and instead push further into space -- first with a manned mission to an asteroid, and then to Mars by the mid 2030s.

Molen, however, sticks by the film and its dire predictions for the country after four more years of Obama in charge.

"The idea was to show what America might look like in 2016," he said. "I feel pretty good about that on the strength of the arguments made in the film."

Contact Kirk Baird at kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.



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