One stinker of a movie! Really, really, really awful!!!
I saw Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World without Her on Sunday afternoon. I went with very low expectations. They were not met.
Mr. D’Souza’s film starts off oddly, with a recreated Revolutionary War battle scene involving George Washington. General Washington gets shot and dies, allowing for the conceit that the world won’t have America. (No way to win without General Washington. Really?)
We see the erasure of Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and maybe one other monument. The narration, during the removal of the Iwo Jima Memorial, mentions what might have happened if Hitler had a nuclear weapon. Uh, sorry, and I hate to be persnickety, but Iwo Jima is in Japan, not Germany. True, the statue memorializes all Marines in all wars, but it’s a symbol inconsistent with the dialogue. And it gets no better! (Mr. D’Souza graduated from Dartmouth College. He should know better.)
The movie claims people blame America for stealing Indian lands, half of Mexico, and the freedom of Africans (who were brought here and enslaved). America also gets dinged for stealing from other countries around the world, and for the evils of capitalism.
What people? Well, Mr. D’Souza finds a Native American and a New Mexican—I’ve never heard of either person—to support his notions about Indians and Mexicans. The slave thing is a mess, focusing on some Negro slave owners and young, white indentured servants. The point?
He has Noam Chomsky supporting the “theft around the world” claim. Dr. Chomsky speaks for a very small number of people.
A few other people play roles, but not one statistic gets mentioned and viewers are expected to accept as fact that the world holds these views about America, so that Mr. D’Souza can demonstrate why the world errs. (Arguments dependent on straw men are inherently weak!)
Howard Zinn, a historian with a doctorate from Columbia University gets lots of attention. Mr. Zinn authored A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present. The movies claims students everywhere are forced to read the book, including even Tony Soprano’s son. Really? Not in our home. No stats, but if someone has the answer I’m interested.
Back to Mr. D’Souza and Mr. Zinn. Someone in the movie claims Mr. Zinn is not a historian, and also alleges that he quit the Communist Party because it wasn’t Far Left enough. Technically, Mr. Zinn is not a historian, but only because he died in January 2010. A fact never mentioned, and the movie always presents him in the present tense. Why? Who knows, but it’s odd and off-putting to not have someone’s death acknowledged. And the Communist Party thing? Mr. Zinn always denied that he was ever a member. Respect for those who have passed calls for clarity. Or, maybe, evidence!
The next part of the film focuses on dangerous people among us, namely organizer Saul Alinsky’s disciples, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mr. Alinsky was dead before President Obama turned 11, while Secretary Clinton wrote a dissertation on his methods.
The movie spends lots of minutes on Mr. Alinsky, presenting him as a mob disciple because he knew Frank Nitti, a top guy in the Al Capone gang. Never mentioned? Mr. Alinsky received a graduate fellowship in criminology from the University of Chicago. He did his thesis on the Al Capone gang and, thus, knew Mr. Nitti. Mr. Alinksy was not a criminal, and was never charged with any crimes. I know, I know: Mr. D’Souza never said he was a criminal.
One other segment focuses on government secrets, spying on us, etc. Nary a mention here, though, that privacy issues have been around for decades, and that the latest surveillance increases came during the George W. Bush years. (President Nixon appears for a moment, reminding me that presidents can really abuse power!)
And so it goes. Lots of errors, false associations, poorly supported claims, victimization, etc. Lousy production values, too, with odd historical reenactments, a goofy scene involving D’Souza running a hamburger stand, etc. Really, an odious piece of work, designed to upset people and create energy leading up to the 2014 mid-term elections.
Now, if you think I’m just a whiny liberal, read Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America’ Will Have Some Conservatives Yearning for Michael Moore’s by John Tammy for Forbes.com. Forbes is hardly a left wing rag, and Mr. Tammy makes the same points, albeit from a Far Right perspective. This movie is bad, no matter where you start out!