Into the San Fernando Valley we rode, 10.2 miles from Casa Avrech, to see Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary 2016: Obama’s America.
Karen ordered our tickets in advance through Fandango.
There are no theater listings for 2016 in the LA Times. They claim there was a computer glitch, but I think we all know what’s really going on. And the mainstream media wonders why ad revenues and subscriptions are declining.
The film was playing at the Burbank AMC 8, a multiplex with which we were unfamiliar. After parking, we made our way to the mall, lined up to get our tickets and discovered that we were at the wrong multiplex. We shlepped to the next multiplex. Wrong again. Finally, relying on Karen’s amazing inner GPS, we found the right theater tucked away — no, hidden — in a far corner of the mall.
I said to Karen: “It’s going to be empty. No one can find this place.”
We stepped into the theater… and it was packed.
Karen and I had to grab seats in the third row. So close you could see the grain of the film.
We expected to see a shrill hit job, an angry anti-Obama rant. Instead, we were treated to a revealing and nuanced psychological portrait of President Obama, a man America does not know. A man the American press was determined not to know. It was more important to elect a (sort of) African-American to the highest office in the land in order to gain some measure of redemption for the evils of slavery.
D’Souza leads us through Obama’s family history: a mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, so pathologically anti-American — my characterization, not D’Souza’s — that she sought out black, Third World men as lovers.
In the black community, such white women are said to be afflicted with “jungle fever.”
Stanley married Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan exchange student, an alcoholic, a Communist, and a bigamist. Stanley did not know that Barack Sr. was already married to a woman back home in Kenya. After that marriage failed, Stanley married an Indonesian, Lolo Soetoro, who turned out not be radical enough for her. Meanwhile, Barack Jr. saw his birth father just once, when he was very young, and like so many sons of absent fathers, constructed an ideal image of his loser, dead-beat dad.
D’Souza visits Obama’s half-brother George in Kenya. George lives in a shack. Literally. But he does not expect his rich, powerful half-brother to help him. Clearly, George does not share Barack Obama’s political views. It is ironic, however, that President Obama, who presents himself as his brother’s keeper, is emphatically not. Recently, George contacted D’Souza, asking for a loan of a thousand dollars to help pay medical bills.
D’Souza builds a convincing case, using Obama’s current policies and the words from his autobiography “Dreams From My Father,” that Obama’s political ideology has its roots in the radical anti-colonial — these creatures view Israel as a colonial power — ideology of his father, his mother, the grandparents who raised him, and a succession of radical-leftist mentors, from the Communist anti-American agitator Frank Marshall Davis to the Jew-and-America hating racist Jeremiah Wright.
As the film progressed, Karen and I could feel a buzz from the audience. They were connecting with the film on a visceral level. When a NASA desk jockey talked rather stupidly about the new mission, as ordered by Obama, to do outreach to the Muslim world, someone yelled “Go NASA!” The audience laughed, remembering what NASA used to be. But look, the Muslim world is as far away and alien as Mars so maybe it will turn out to be a perfect job for Obama’s NASA.
When the film ended, the audience gave it a standing ovation. At some screenings the audience sings G-d Bless America.
2016 is bringing in huge box office numbers for a political documentary. The movie came in at 13th at the box office over the weekend. And the film’s per-screen average for Friday through Sunday soared to $7,391, the fifth highest average of any film over the weekend. These are amazing numbers for a little film that was all but ignored by Hollywood and the mainstream reviewers. The film opened in limited (and hidden) theaters, but is breaking wider all over the country. Do not miss it.
Driving back to civilization — I mean Los Angeles — Karen mused that D’Souza makes a fundamental error when he attributes President Obama’s radical ideology to the dreams of his father. In truth, his father was but a shadow. It’s the dreams, actions and pathologies of Barack Hussein Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who, more than anyone else, shaped and nurtured the world view of America’s forty-fourth President.
D’Souza’s superb film should be titled: “2016: Dreams From My Mother.”
P.S. A few hours after seeing the movie, I said to Karen: “Romney is going to win. This film is as much a game changer as Paul Ryan.”
P.P. S. I’ve just got to point out that in the 1942 movie In This Our Life, Bette Davis plays a character named Stanley Timberlake. The film is kind of blah, but I sat through the whole thing waiting for the moment when some character would say: “Hey, Stanley, that’s a pretty weird name for a girl. What were your parents thinking?” Well, that never happens. Bette/Stanley plays scene after scene and no one seems to notice that her name is crazy. Sad, the way some screenwriters miss the elephant in the script.