Immigrant and conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has deep affection for the USA. And in his new movie, America: Imagine a World without Her, presents good reasons for it.Still, it’s an uphill climb to get the message across.
Based on his wildly popular book of the same name, D’Souza solidly identifies the claims against America in war, capitalism, and racism and debunks the heck out of them. As we see Washington get shot on the battlefield of the revolutionary war in a spooky alternative universe, the question emerges: what would the world be like without America.
He first interviews and presents the attackers rather frightening case, making many patriots in the audience nervous, before taking a step back and examining the validity of their arguments in greater detail.
Communists and leftists such as Noam Chomsky, Michael Eric Dyson, Saul Alinsky followers and Ward Churchill and further prominent activists are interviewed. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, and many notable others in academia then take on their arguments, reducing them to pulpy orange juice.
Via TV clips, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, and bomb-happy Bill Ayers also make appearances.
D'Souza battling communist Bill Ayers on The Kelly File. Image from Fox News
D’Souza made a name for himself when he made the film 2016: Obama’s America. It became the second highest grossing political documentary after Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
Impressively, his new endeavor has become the seventh-highest grossing political documentary, joining a list of predominantly liberal films.
Yet critics that bowed their heads in reverence to Moore, condemned D’Souza’s film.
RogerEbert.com claimed that “it plods along with all the verve of a PowerPoint presentation”, calling it the historical recreations “cheesy” and the interviews “over edited”. Jim Gaines of Reuters went so far as to tell people to even go see the film.
It’s no wonder its Rotten Tomatoes approval rating is around 9%.
Critics were indeed swift to dismiss the film, but actual audiences housed very different opinions.
According to Metacritic, a well-regarded website which ranks audiences approval of the films, the film comes in as an A+.
Few films receive an A+ on Metacritic, making America one of the highest ranked movie events of the year.
It is also the highest grossing documentary of the year so far.
So much for the reliability of the mainstream, albeit liberal, press.
In addressing these critics concerns, I will start with the allegation that it’s a mere PowerPoint presentation.
It used bullet points to list the concerns some folks store of America. If that’s a little PowerPointy, so what? It made things nonetheless fascinating. Plus, it’s a documentary. What do you expect, ballet? Tinkerbell?
Washington as depicted in film
The historical recreations served their purpose as powerful, realistic bits of filmmaking and to say that they were cheesy is voicing one's mere disdain for a good history lesson made interesting with music and effects.
In context, the left has never much approved of actual history lessons. If they did, this film would never have had to be made.
First RogerEbert.com implies boredom through a hideous high-schoolish image of a sluggish, pretentious PowerPoint presentation, then they condemn the film for being powerfully cinematic.
If you want to see a longer, uncut interview or debate, switch on your TV or attend a Ford Hall Forum event.
This is a movie. The filmmaker’s job is to present a good product interestingly and economically. The editing accomplished just that. It was a job well done.
On another note, I may be mistaken, but the craft of a mainstream critic to give his personal, expert analysis on what makes a film strong or weak, providing the reader insight on what might or might not be good to see. The critic does not act as a century guard commanding people to see or not see a film.
Producer Gerald Molen (Schindler's List) said he had never before encountered anything like a critic such as Gaines heeding moviegoers to isolate the film.
Gaines perhaps should be reminded that he is far from a traffic light, commanding viewers not to see one film or the other, but a source of reference for judgment.
That is all.
Former Reagan Policy Analyst and filmmaker, Dinesh D'Souza. Image from Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Largely excellent arguments crafted by D'Souza make the film one of the most informative documentaries around.
I do agree with one reviewer that a bit more confrontation and debating between the two sides and their arguments would have been nice. But again, a filmmaker does have to be economical though and some perfectly good movies--a few of the Harry Potter films—have been attacked for being too long.
Again, keeping things economical is important, as any professional filmmaker will tell you.
Upon dealing with the allegations, the film deals with whose propping up these ludicrous statements regarding anti-American exceptionalism.It deals with the leftist agenda, used by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and its gradual plan to downturn America.
The information revealed is startling and perhaps somewhat terrifying.
Those who are open to an alternate picture of America and who begin to lodge a deep understanding of the USA will certainly tear up at the end when the puzzle comes together and we step back to cast our glance upon a most ugly image. Tears of happiness, however, flood the theatre upon the ending rendition of the American anthem.
In the film, D’Souza does go over his conviction for violation of (rather idiotic) campaign finance laws and openly, humbly declares his mistake. A far cry from a certain gentleman in the White House, he does lay his cards on the table.
Cinematically, the film was visually stunning, engaging, and adhered to a high standard of storytelling as any good film should. It's an intellectual thriller.
Content-wise, this movie is nothing short of eye opening.
With the producers of Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park backing it, and the highest quality of documentary filmmaking, this conservative film represents a prestigious tier of filmmaking in a predominantly leftist field.
Despite unearned bashing from critics the film has been enormously favorable with audiences and has booted out a Moore film as seventh highest grossing political documentary of all time.
A dramatic plea for justice, the film is a worthwhile summer adventure.
Text copyright by Robert Steven Mack. All rights Reserved