September 6, 2012

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On the foreign policy front, D’Souza states that the Obama administration has done nothing to ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon. He says nothing of the severe economic and trade sanctions against the country. It seems that each point made by the film is easily refuted by a simple Google search. None of the evidence cited by the film points to an anti-American radical hell-bent on turning the U.S. into a Third World, socialist society while encouraging the creation of an Islamic nation state in Middle East. And yet, this is exactly what the last 20 minutes of the film explicitly states.

The filmmaking itself is strangely done. As mentioned above, the film focuses quite a bit on D’Souza. He is in every scene, pretending to investigate every angle. It includes dramatic reenactments and music on par with that of “Unsolved Mysteries.” The interviews are nearly all scripted—sometimes so blatantly that one wonders why they bothered staging the interview at all. Of the unscripted interviews, D’Souza’s leading questions to Obama’s half-brother, George, in Nairobi is particularly jarring. D’Souza wants George to admit that his brother has abandoned him in squalor, but he doesn’t take the bait and the result is awkward and unsettling. The film states earlier that Barack Obama Sr. was a polygamist with multiple wives and many children. D’Souza seems to be arguing that President Obama should be intimately involved in the lives of distant relatives he’s never met. It’s nothing more than a smear tactic.

The film concludes with scenes of the liberal media denouncing D’Souza’s book, painting him as a victim of unfair bias. I suppose I now join their ranks. I expect documentaries to enlighten, not obfuscate. I believe there are better ways to spend your money. If you want to see a documentary, check out “Reportero,” a Chattanooga Film Society and Mis En Scenesters presentation of a film about reporters in Tijuana, Mexico, on Monday, Sept. 10, at the Downtown YMCA. I guarantee it will be more thought-provoking and factual and you can support local film at the same time. 

September 6, 2012

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