Film Review: ‘America: Imagine the World Without Her’

America: Imagine the World Without Her

A slick, sprawling celebration of American exceptionalism from conservative writer and sociopolitical commentator Dinesh D'Souza.

After scoring a surprise box office success with his “2016: Obama’s America,” an agitprop portrait of our current U.S. president as a “breathtakingly anti-American” radical, conservative author and sociopolitical commentator Dinesh D’Souza strikes again with “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” a slick, sprawling celebration of American exceptionalism that could, much like its predecessor, make a bundle by rigorously reinforcing the deeply held beliefs and darkest suspicions of its target audience. A well-timed theatrical rollout in major markets during the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend will only enhance this aggressively patriotic documentary’s commercial appeal.

D’Souza sticks fairly close to the same game plan he employed for “2016,” once again sharing writing and directing chores with co-producer John Sullivan, and pulling double duty as narrator and oncamera interviewer. (He also appears here, fleetingly, as a fast-food restaurateur in a comedy sketch intended to illustrate the joys of capitalism.) The big difference in “America” is an abundance of cable TV-style historical re-enactments — sporadic sequences in which actors portray, with varying degrees of success, figures ranging from Abraham Lincoln (a strikingly effective Don Taylor) to Hilary Clinton (a none-too-persuasive Jennifer Pearson).

One such sequence, evidently set in an alternative universe, kicks off the film by dramatizing the fatal shooting of George Washington during a Revolutionary War battle. D’Souza follows this with portentous imagery (including the erasure of Mount Rushmore) and rhetorical questions — like, what if Hitler had developed the atomic bomb first? — that suggest “America” really will imagine what the world would have been like if the colonies had never broken free of British rule.

But no: Despite its provocative title, the film — most of it, at least — is less speculative fiction than impassioned counterpoint. Drawing largely from his own published work, D’Souza offers a point-by-point response to historical revisionists, social activists and community organizers who want to define America as “a predatory colonial power,” and dwell on such unpleasant topics as the decimation of Native Americans, the mistreatment of blacks and Mexicans, and the widening gap between rich and poor in a capitalist society.

To his credit, D’Souza gives screen time to a few interviewees — like Native American rights activist Charmaine White Face — who clearly aren’t buying what he’s selling. For the most part, however, D’Souza gives the impression of someone obsessed with whitewashing any and all dark chapters in U.S. history books.

There are times when his defenses and rationalizations come across as almost laughably facile. Sure, he says, slavery was a bad thing. But, hey, there also were enslaved white people — indentured servants, to be precise — and some Deep South freed blacks who bred and sold slaves. And, yes, racism isn’t very nice. But just look at how a 19th-century African-American lady named C.J. Walker triumphed as a self-reliant capitalist while selling hair-care products and becoming a millionaire.

D’Souza devotes considerable time and energy to scornfully rebuking Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” which he views as positively un-American in its alternative view of the American mythos. Oddly enough, D’Souza displays almost as much contempt for actor Matt Damon, whom he characterizes as a Zinn acolyte and, worse, something of a hypocrite simply for being a highly paid movie star.

“America” shifts gears during its final half-hour, lurching from revisionism of historical revisionism to cautionary speculation. While focusing on the legacy of leftist community organizer Saul Alinsky — depicted here as an apt pupil of Chicago gangsters — he duly notes Alinsky’s influence on Obama’s agenda. But wait, there’s more: D’Souza also gets to take a pre-emptive shot at presumed presidential hopeful Clinton by dramatizing how the one-time “Goldwater girl” was led over the leftie dark side by Alinsky.

Anyone who has kept track of D’Souza’s untidy private life and recent legal difficulties may approach “America” wondering: Will he or won’t he? And as it turns out: Yes, he does indeed acknowledge his arrest and subsequent plea bargain for violation of campaign finance laws.

But D’Souza shrewdly places this acknowledgement in the context of a lengthy final section devoted to dire warnings about increased government surveillance of U.S. citizenry, charges of politically motivated law enforcement, and heavy-handed efforts by prosecutors to wring guilty pleas from defendants with threats of maximum prison sentences. Everything leads to the melodramatic image of a handcuffed D’Souza anxiously cooling his heels in a dank jail cell, hammering home the message: In Obama’s un-American America, this … could … happen … to … you.

By the way: It will be interesting to see how some viewers react to D’Souza’s repeated (and approving) depiction of the Civil War as a noble battle waged by Abraham Lincoln and his Union Army solely to end slavery in the United States. Quite a few far-right, states-rights zealots might beg to differ with that view of American history.

Tech values are polished across the board, with composer Bryan E. Miller earning special credit for his genuinely stirring opening theme.

Film Review: 'America: Imagine the World Without Her'

Reviewed at Edwards Marq*E Cinema, Houston, June 27, 2014. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 103 MIN.

Production

(Documentary) A Lionsgate release and presentation of a D’Souza Entertainment production. Produced by Gerald R. Molen. Executive producers, Dinesh D’Souza, John Sullivan, Bruce Schooley.

Crew

Directed by John Sullivan, Dinesh D’Souza. Screenplay, Sullivan, D’Souza, Bruce Schooley, based on the book by D’Souza. Camera (B&W/color), Benjamin Huddleston; editors, Rickie Lee, Jeffrey Linford; music, Bryan E. Miller; sound (Dolby Digital), Juniper Post.

With

Dinesh D’Souza, Charmaine White Face, Noam Chomsky, Michael Eric Dyson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Alan Dershowitz, Jennifer Pearson, Josh Bonzie, Don Taylor.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 133

Leave a Reply

133 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Night Flight says:

    I agree with the critic. Based upon the title and the opening scene of George Washington being killed, I was expecting a film showing what the world would be like without the U.S.A., like “A Day Without a Mexican.”

  2. Aleksander Coho says:

    If there were no America, Europe would last about a week. Then thy would stone you to death if your beard were to be shorter that four finger-widths.

  3. This author started out with pre-determined goals and then cherry picked information and slanted his writing to lead to the anti American conclusions. Well written leftist sophistry. Joseph Goebbels would be proud of this article… it is excellent,not really believable, propaganda. The author gave the video/country America a fair trial before he executed her. He forgets one thing….as Desouza said in his video …”.America is an idea” and you cant kill an idea. America is and has been the greatest country in the history of mankind…..her idea will live on.

  4. Cherie Wood says:

    you’ve got it wrong we are capitalist that’s what makes our country work the left wing nuts are trying to push us into a socialist country that have died all over the world because it does not work we are proud to pull up and do the work that others won’t do we are glad that we took back the Congress and gave the administration the liar and chief and all his cronies a big what for they have lied to us time and again about
    Obama care about the illegals coming across we are still in spending billions of dollars on people that aren’t even here legally so be for you to us up you better get your facts straight our country is in trouble but not for long though bama’s almost out the door singing his poor me song

  5. G. B. says:

    Some people don’t want to look the truth in the eye. The main reason being that it would leave them being held accountable and without any further excuses. I know America the Movie made me change some of the ways I was thinking.

  6. Concerned says:

    We here in Florida have a State Sen. trying to get a bill passed to make all 8th and 11th graders watch this, unless they have a signature from a parent. It may be a good movie, but this is Ludacris.

    • Cherie Wood says:

      I think you’re missing the point the schools from grammar school through college have been hijacked by the left there is not a conservative voice amongst them this is our only chance to have our children see two sides of our country conservative and liberal so I think you’re missing the point and unless you let your children see for yourself what America is to us that’s not too good of an idea you’re hindering your children from making a decision on their own and making them look at liberalism only

    • So what is the difference between that and forcing all 8th and 11th grade students to watch “An Inconvenient Truth”?? Can’t have it both ways, Casper. My kids had to watch the big Al Gore lie during school assembly time. I love the way liberals hate it when it goes both ways.

  7. Steven says:

    The democrats changed the entire housing industry, encouraging (if not demanding) mortgages be given to people who could not afford them (even those on unemployment). These mortgages were sold indiscriminately along with good risk mortgages and suddenly the housing market went into the toilet with massive numbers of people unable to pay their mortgages and the economy began to nosedive. Not caused by Republicans.

  8. Belinda Vianello says:

    Incredibly bad movie, watching it in Australia, and now knowing the Republicans are in charge of the upper and lower house in Congress, watch out world we are in for a bumpy road. Such a shame he did not mention the disparity of wealth in your country, the fact that the Republicans deregulated your banking system to the point they made their own rules,bringing about the collapse of the world economic system or became embroiled in 2 wars overseas costing trillions of dollars and the cost you will never get back human lives. Truly the man is delusional

  9. The Convicted criminal is a corporate mouth piece. He has lied so much that I don’t care what he has to say. He is the type of guy that believes when unemployment is down it is bad for the country. If everybody was making minimum wage and corporations were thriving…This would be a republican wet dream. D’souza is a piece of trash

    • “TRULY” you are a socialist.

    • Greenrodeo says:

      Sad to see such uninformed uneducated people. The movie is not about its producer or director. It’s about America and its place and impact on the world. If you don’t believe in the greatness and exceptionalism of our country of course you’re going to hate the movie. If you are an American patriot you’re going to love the movie. Either way, D’Souza is really irrelevant to the movie content ….other than getting Kudos for the guts (and willingness to take a financial risk) to layout history as it really happened.

  10. Barbara P says:

    Thank you, Annie Smith. My thoughts exactly. I am a 72 year old white lady who has lived in the south all my life, as did my parents, grandparents, great grandparents. and great great grandparents. They were all very hard working people who put God first, family second and country third. Most of my early relatives were quite poor and some were sharecroppers. None had slaves, in fact, I remember my Grandmother and My Mom telling me “that sometimes the slaves had it better than they did, at least they had food every day, which was not always the case for them”. My point is, 99.4 % of people in the south, during the days of slavery, never owned a slave. I wonder if people even realize how many wealthy northern people owned slaves. i think most would be surprised!

  11. More detail on the story of European migration and its effect upon the resident Indians:

    “Diseases that the Europeans brought over were smallpox, measles, malaria, yellow fever, influenza, chicken pox, and many others.

    “Diseases that were spread to the Europeans from the Natives were syphilis, polio, hepatitis, and encephalitis.”

    History isn’t a fairy tale.

    Civilization has been difficult. Let’s try to learn the real story, not the distortions in many books and on the Internet.

  12. randy albin says:

    is this propaganda? what a movie. save this for nostalgia at best

  13. Joe L. says:

    I think Joe Leydon is all wet. He obviously doesn’t understand (or doesn’t want to understand) the message of the movie. D’Souza is simply trying to point out that America is exceptional in that it gives the people here the freedom to be whatever their talents and ambitions allow them to be. This is not true in most of the rest of the world. I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about American history in this movie. I took American History in High School and twice in College, but never was taught most of the things D’Souza pointed out. Why not? Because it wasn’t in the history books. And why wasn’t it in the history books? Because somebody didn’t want us to know. Great movie. Ignore Leydon and go see it.

  14. J says:

    Joe Leydon sounds like a rocket scientist

  15. bill_from_bala says:

    Can’t wait to see it!

  16. randy albin says:

    it seems to be propaganda. why is such a heavy-handed movie shown so often? take it along with a grain of salt. there could really be better movies to go and see

  17. Vic says:

    Saw the movie. It seemed fair to me. The first half hour it went thru all the liberal charges of what a evil country this is. Then proceeded to to tear their arguments apart.
    My comment is why do people all over the world want to come here? Also, why do all the Liberals stay here if they don’t want to be involved with this evil country. By staying here they are supporting this country with their taxes.

  18. indieyank says:

    Saw the movie on July 4th. Happy to see a full theater and very moved by the spontaneous applause at the end. The main accusations against America were laid out very honestly by the leaders from the various groups that were wronged in the past. D’Souza explores how this has been presented in our colleges as evidence of the injustice of our society. One of the most compelling ideas explored was the only way a powerful and impenetrable country like ours could be collapsed is through suicide. In the second half of the movie, though, he challenges this accepted posture of shame and presents an alternative uplifting way of looking at how, although imperfect, America is a unique and noble idea.

  19. randy albin says:

    well, this is not that bad. bring out some better movies than these. audiences deserve better than this

  20. Mike Spencer says:

    Can you imagine the gall of someone producing a film that highlights the positives of our country, instead of tearing it down for the mistakes that have been made. So sad that critics like this can only ever find value in a film if it fits their narrative. He doesn’t care that for decades people have been subjected to the liberal image of America in movies and can only find contempt for one that dares to show a better side to the country he has prospered in.

  21. Mark Lankin says:

    what a sad review; one by one this movie takes about the liberal talking points that “America is Evil”. This review, if Gabe even watched the documentary, gives no facts to back up his claims that D’Souza’s arguments are wrong. And predictable, the liberal hacks at American newspapers pan the movie, while most viewers of movie loved it…

  22. Tom Fischer says:

    After reading your review, I had very low expectations but I saw the movie tonight and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I can be as cynical and critical as the next guy but your review seems more negative than is called for. Perhaps if the move were called Amerika Dream of a World With Out Her, you would have been more balanced in your review.

    All and all, a very good movie. You sure don’t have to buy into everything wholesale to enjoy it. It helped to remind me about what it is I love about my country. I was actually surprised how full the theater was. Also the audience applauded enthusiastically at the end of the movie. Very cool.

    Go see it and judge for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

  23. Kelly Abram says:

    …And what of the Native Americans?.. or is that a story within American history too dark and the truth of how this America was really born out of genocide, germ warfare, of a people who helped settler & colonial people survive this land mass? History of this land did not start with arrival of a lost Christopher Colombus! The first illegal immigrant!

    • benbuffa says:

      You clearly have not seen the movie. If you had you would know the answer to your question. You may not like it, but you will not be able to honestly refute it.

  24. Kyle Kardell says:

    I thought the movie was fascinating. Most of the professional reviews I read are incredibly biased and inaccurate. I love American history and learned so much from this film. I left the theatre motivated to help maintain the America our founding fathers worked so hard to achieve.

  25. B. Cawthon says:

    The movie was incredibly good. Contrary to “professional” reviewers’ opinions, the movie was extremely enjoyable. I sat in a theater in the Dallas metroplex and marveled that someone actually took head on all the allegations of America’s wrongs. The D’souza gave historically accurate information. Contrary to this magazine’s review he didn’t “whitewash” anything. He is historically correct in everything he asserts.
    Its comical when he addresses the immigrant situation by asking a border patrol worker about the number of people trying to get OUT of America, rather than come in to this “wretched, horrible” land. The border agent says, “No…I’ve never seen ANYBODY trying to cross illegally into Mexico”.
    Maybe people should consider the truth of this movie rather than disparage it because its made by a “conservative”. D’Souza is an Indian immigrant that came here 30 yrs ago. Its ashamed that HE has to be the defender of the truth about out great nation.

  26. arunner10 says:

    At least the ‘critics”, uh, I mean the neocon army dispatched by the likes of Breitbrat and Fox, are consistent. Every single film review site has been freeped by these folks. They are rabid. We are to never criticize one of their champions.
    So this film will give DD a little spending cash for gum and cigs while he spends his 16 month sentence in the slammer. Hero, indeed!

    • Rob Papstein says:

      We all know what side of the argument you are on since you show so well…what do you have to offer this awesome country. You are a fool if you do not see the “good” in the country you live in. Go make fun in some other land.

  27. Grunk says:

    I thought it was a positive movie.
    The Star Spangled Banner rendition at the end was awesome.

  28. steve bennett says:

    haven’t seen the movie, but it’s pretty clear that the critic who wrote this really could not separate his politics from his review. It might be a horrible movie, but I just can’t trust this opinion because it is so biased.

  29. Greg says:

    The movie starts out making an amazing argument against conspiracy and tries to provide a good perspective on the fundamental differences between “conquest by force” and “wealth creation by entrepreneurship”. I liked this very much. As soon as he turned away from this very engaging thought process to a conspiracy theory of how the left wants America to dissolve I found him hypocritical and, quite honestly repulsive. I read somewhere that 46% of Americans to not identify with either party and will vote to keep anyone too radical from being in power. This is where I will vote. Worst bait and switch movie of all time.

    • Cindy says:

      I am of those 46 % and I am sick and tired of people trying to shove their radical political views on me. I am critical of all parties so far….Obama is not my hero but George Bush was a nightmare, also. Politicians are not honest, as there is always a whole group of special interest behind each president with a great deal of money passed around, making the whole political process a puppeteering fiasco. I don’t think there is any conspiracy theories(on a large scale at least, not counting lobbyists), as that would take some real maneuvering and frankly, there is way too much going on everywhere to make that happen with so many hands in the pot. I KNEW it was not the movie to see when a politically obsessed friend told me to go see it. Hello, can you say RED FLAG? My thoughts are, live each day happy. Don’t get too involved in politics except to vote for the politician that you believe will do the least amount of damage to our beloved country. Stop obsessing people….as it starts to make the party this movie is supposed to represent look….well racist…and obnoxious to assume you know what is best for individuals. We all walk our own walk and vote our conscience. and frankly, I won’t see a movie pushing the democrats agenda either . There is a thought.

  30. Vic says:

    No matter whether you liked or disliked the film, keep in mind, “THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS”. That statement applies to everyone.

  31. pbalsamo says:

    Great Movie…Writer of the artical is LOST

  32. randy albin says:

    is this meant to be propaganda? how can you sit through this? what kind of movie is this?

  33. audiophile says:

    History gets revised not by facts but by perspectives. If we decide that the “liberals” are intentionally destroying America then we can reinterpret their actions/words to fit our conception. There are plenty of factual accounts from history that are discussed by “conservatives” that are totally different when told (or not mentioned at all) by “liberals” and vice versa.
    American politics has always been divisive– let’s look back to (Federalist) Alexander Hamilton and (Democratic-Republican) Aaron Burr. They had bitter political and personal disagreements which led to the famous duel that ultimately killed Hamilton and further weakened the Federalist party. At least we’re not literally killing each other over political beliefs any more!
    I hold that we actually need different perspectives to make our country function, that we need to bear in mind the perspectives of others and learn to compromise to achieve the elusive “more perfect union” our forefathers dreamed of.
    But we need to know where to draw the line. We’re not physically killing each other over our political beliefs but as evidenced in this “discussion” we’re still assassinating one another’s character. And we’re certainly not listening enough to each other to make the necessary compromises we need to make to move forward.

    Is America great? YES. Do we have to be number one in every category? The “most civilized” or have the highest standard of living? Do we have to be the largest economy or the protector of all that is right (according to how we define right)? Does America have to be “The Greatest” in order for you to love her?
    Not to me. It’s nice that the USA is rich, powerful, influential and important, but it is NOT the reason that I love my country. It’s enough that the United States of America is my home and what really makes her great is that we always keep trying to improve… even if we don’t agree on what, why, when, or how to make the improvements.

  34. Movie reimagines history then slams Obama and Clinton!!!! GARBAGE

    • Jana says:

      Suzanne, name just one historical fact that is wrong, in this movie. Just one.

      • Ronald King says:

        If I remember right, at one time the U.S. government, actually gave Indian refugees small pox infected blankets. Disease wiped them out, remember? There was also a small incident where syphilis was given to black people, but well we all remember that because there was an African American millionaire in the 1800’s, that racism died then. It must have been an accident that there were no white people in those syphilis trials. Jim Crowe laws obviously didn’t exist.

        Then there is the comment on warrant courts. Defendants always get the ability to refute the government to search their homes and have throughout time. Oops. No, they don’t. Obtaining warrants has never been adversarial. What is adversarial is whether evidence obtained by said warrants could be administered as evidence. Also, Obama started the program when he was President before 2008. Oops. No, he wasn’t President before 2008.

        He also neglects to mention the constant shaming and intimidation of those who are poor, or that a business owner can very well discriminate against employees because of their political viewpoints. It’s because they aren’t religious or good workers are his theses respectively. I also didn’t hear mention that Reagan in the 1980’s reversed constraints on the American economy that were enacted to lengthen the boom, bust cycle and that he did it by bullying Congress into doing it by defunding each agency in turn until Congress actually acquiesced. Those constraints (high tax rates on unreasonable amounts of income) were mitigations on how badly business owners can destroy the value of money. All I heard is that we need a man like Washington, Lincoln, or Reagan. I agree with Washington and Lincoln, but I surely do not agree that we need another man like Reagan. We got a bunch of men like Reagan in Congress now.

        When I watched John Wilkes Booth entering to kill Lincoln, I saw, on one hand, a Southerner trying to save his way of life by assassinating Lincoln, and, on the other hand, I saw a man doing whatever he needed to do to obstruct government. I also think the last statements in the movie are actually the most powerful no matter which side you believe in. They are true for conservative or liberal and are the most important thing in the entire film.

        I admit that I didn’t find anything wrong in the film, but claiming the revisionism is accurate is also quite false. Lies of omission are still lies. Apologies for the zombie post, but in case anyone is reading the review and comments, I think it important that the viewer have an idea of what the film is.

      • American woman says:

        Whatever pinko commie is reaching into history to fight a way to bring her down is not going to do it he’s a good man with good intentions and you are a bigot

    • Dave says:

      Suzanne,
      Which school taught you American history? Please read a variety of books on American history before you make such comments.

  35. ginger says:

    sadly a very biased review.

  36. 2014 authentic Leafs jersey & 365 day returns on apparel. get official jerseys online at our store.

  37. Derek Osika says:

    Of course 81% of the movie goers liked the film, I am certain out of ever 100 people who saw this film 90 of them were conservative. Most leftists aren’t going to waste their money to go watch a movie in which a conservative ex-con white washes history books. It isn’t that most critics are liberal, it is that lefty critics are the only lefties who are probably watching this tripe.

    • seanmom says:

      How is Dinesh an “ex-con?” Either you don’t know his situation or you don’t know what that word means.

  38. audiophile says:

    Mine was neither puerile, nor a rant.
    If we’re talking about WWII history, it is certain that the US arrived just in time to turn the tide against the Nazis, but the USSR & UK could have eventually subdued the Germans- total defeat, maybe not.
    But how, may I ask, did the Germans end up in their role during WWII?
    They had had economic problems, plenty of domestic scapegoats to blame their problems on, an irrational nationalist pride and a charismatic leader that convinced them they were destined to rule because they were superior to all other nations. The people ate that BS up.
    And apparently you do too.
    My so-called “rant” was merely pointing out that American Exceptionalism is a form of ideological extremism that could lead to trouble, especially when we couple it to wild conspiracy theories about “the enemy within our ranks” who is willfully destroying our way of life. D’Souza is just fomenting paranoia.
    There is no doubt that the US has done a lot of good in the world (and there’s no place i’d rather live), but we also have a responsibility to show the world that a superpower can act responsibly, diplomatically and respectfully. That’s not always done with military might, weapons stockpiles, and a brash/arrogant attitude of superiority.
    It’s good for the United States to remain engaged in the world, but we have to be careful how we do it.

    • audiophile says:

      Liberals said the same thing when Bush was president, and conservatives almost always have equally harsh criticisms of Michael Moore.

    • audiophile says:

      ^^^ that was in response to Original Killshot, whose comment I can no longer see.

      • Well, that is a most tempered change in your attitude and kudos for that. Yes, of course, we have to be careful. But withdrawing, abandoning Israel, and looking the other way while Christian populations are getting pillaged and exterminated is not what I would call “careful”.

  39. Namo Ten Gam says:

    Many are renouncing their American citizenship and moving elsewhere. If you don’t like America then you can join the others and move to whatever country you believe is superior. It is your choice. No one is forcing you to stay.

  40. audiophile says:

    D’Souza’s every argument hinges upon the flawed and dangerous idea that American Exceptionalism is not only good, but the only way the world will know peace. Let’s call it what it really is: unbridled and misguided nationalism.
    We have a rich and complex history with victories and failures. Pretending we’re perfect (or soon will be) and therefore have the right (no, the duty!) to rule/run the world is only a few steps away from becoming the next Nazi Germany.
    The United States and her citizens must be aware of the good and the bad, the failures and the triumphs, and everything in between. We need to have realistic perspectives and learn how to cooperate with the rest of the world, not strong-arm it. We can have our strength and glory, be a shining beacon of hope AND be aware of our shortcomings. That may actually make us stronger.
    What is dangerous, truly dangerous, is to believe that we can do no wrong or that our every action over the course of history was justified. That view can only lead us to ruin.
    American Exceptionalism is a global tragedy waiting to happen. Stop and think.

    • Bet Sobon says:

      No, your point was that people think American can ‘do no wrong’ as you put it. That isn’t what I got out of the movie at all. That is your (flawed) interpretation.

      • audiophile says:

        I said it’s dangerous to believe we can do no wrong.
        I made no claims on who is doing the believing.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t believe D’Souza thinks that American is perfect and has all the solutions. I’ve only read a couple of his books, including the one on Racism, and he openly points out America’s flaws which can be irritating to anyone who thinks bad things didn’t happen in our country. I ask everyone. What country in the world has a better system of liberty? Sure, America can do better, especially at getting rid of cronyism capitalists (which I believe is one of our major flaws along with extortion of politicians in Washington) which is bringing our country down and contributing to our cost of living to sky rocket. But surely, no one in the USA could support Socialism, Communism, Tierney or Anarchy over an “honest” Capitalist society. The question is, how do we become a responsible people?

      • audiophile says:

        Exactly. The question we’re looking for is “how do we create a more perfect union?”
        It’s fine to debate the details and different methods for doing so. We don’t have to accuse other political parties/figures of intentionally sabotaging the country.
        Thanks for being respectful, Dave. Your message was well delivered.

    • Bet Sobon says:

      The movie addresses the wrongs done. But puts them in context. I think you should stop thinking.

      • audiophile says:

        I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I am familiar with D’Souza’s platform and previous work.
        He is academically dishonest at best. His kooky conspiracy theories are merely well-dressed garbage.
        He’s almost as batshit as those who believe Osama bin Laden never existed and 9/11 was an inside job planned and carried out by the Bush administration.
        …Which is why I will wait to view this movie until I can see it for free. D’Souza doesn’t deserve a penny from me.
        And you, Bet Sobon, missed my point entirely.

  41. Donald Aldridge says:

    How arrogant. I’m surprised you even reviewed it. ‘Agitprop’? Barack Obama is a walking campaign for a socialist agenda, far beyond anything the nation is, and more than likely will ever be, willing to accept. D’Sousa is no doubt conservative–a rather common American malady, I might add–but ‘radical’? Which buildings has he bombed? Obama has friends who’ve bombed more than a few. Where are D’Sousa’s radical credentials?

  42. Greenrodeo5@gmail.com says:

    You can decide for yourself but Lincoln said…. if freeing the slaves would keep the Union together he would do it…. if maintaining slavery in the slave states would keep the Union together he would do that. He later realized that nothing was going to keep union together except a military victory and so he freed the slaves because it was right to do it and he felt England would not enter on the side of the South if it looked like England was supportive of slavery.

  43. American believer says:

    D’Souza hits a home-run with countering the tragically prolific anti-American narrative –
    He is not denying, but presents a proper balance of good & the bad, what country has not had it’s miss-steps, but points out that our America IS THE SHINING LIGHT for freedom & opportunity – hence why millions clamor to come here. I’ve seen “America” twice & will recommend it highly, especially to our younger generation that are missing this priceless perspective.

  44. Resigned Sidekick says:

    “There are times when his defenses and rationalizations come across as almost laughably facile. Sure, he says, slavery was a bad thing. But, hey, there also were enslaved white people — indentured servants, to be precise — and some Deep South freed blacks who bred and sold slaves. And, yes, racism isn’t very nice. But just look at how a 19th-century African-American lady named C.J. Walker triumphed as a self-reliant capitalist while selling hair-care products and becoming a millionaire.”

    I’m not understanding your point? How is any of this a defense or rationalization? Are you saying these things didn’t happen? Or are somehow misleading? Is he really trying to defend slavery and racism? Or he is most likely trying to illustrate that American history is much more complicated than white vs black. As for white people being indentured servants, slavery is slavery and there is no such thing as good slavery. And by bringing up C.J. Walker is he not trying to prove that capitalism isn’t inherently evil and the capitalist can work for benefit of the underprivileged?

  45. Unfortunately, I fully expect that the majority of critics out there (because the majority are out spoken liberals) will be viciously harsh and overly critical whether overtly or subtly about this movie. I can see all the reviews like this one saying things like its racist, xenophobic, jingoistic, idiotic, or just plain hateful. So if someone is interested in watching I just hope they know the ideology of most of the media’s critics out there. As for me, I’m excited to see it soon!

  46. Heidi Bach, Ph.D. says:

    July 4th…See America…your nearest theatre. If you want your children/grandchildren to have a future worthwhile, America needs YOU. See the truth about America, made by people like you.

  47. Dave says:

    Bravo! Just saw the movie today and I give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Its an entertaining history lesson with twists and turns. If you vote I say this is a must for all Americans. I only gave it 4 1/2 stars because I felt it wasn’t long enough.

    • Cliff Norman says:

      Agree Dave, an excellent movie. The critics have to echo the message that gets them invited to cocktails by the elites who harbor much of the ignorance and myth that is being spread about in the name of diversity and political correctness. If you are an actor in Hollywood, you learn to keep your mouth shut if you cannot spout the party line. There are a few exceptions, but they are also in demand and can afford to speak out. Gary Sinse comes to mind.

  48. ASCook says:

    So, in other words – Variety is providing us with a condescending review and Dinesh is warning us about the future of our country. Thanks to the film makers for this message – and the critics can go back to their holes.

  49. Steven Green says:

    It’s not the vocation, it’s the person. Reagan was the best president since Lincoln and Roosevelt.

    • Forest says:

      Roosevelt was a “friend” of ole’ Uncle Joe—-Stalin!! enough said! General Patton was right!!

  50. Peter Thiele says:

    I think that the point of the documentary is missed. America’s negative points are discussed frequently. The greatness of this country cannot be ignored. Maybe Mr. Leydon’s ancestors were Slave Owning, Native American Murdering Rapists. Mine were not and many Americans came to this nation after The Civil War and joined this nation for WWI and WWII.

    We also look at history from a today perspective. I suggest that how we behave is quite different, but then I am watching in the news what is occurring in Nigeria and with ISIS. We are different. We are multi-Ethnic. Let’s celebrate what is good. We already know what needs improvement. I can’t wait to see America. I read the book, which was enlightening. I read The Federalist Papers early this year. If you have not read them or not read them lately. Pick them up.

    • Kc says:

      Peter Thiele, I agree and appreciate your answer. Dinesh has a brilliant, clear, reasoning mind which is why self-hating Americans need to deride him and his work. They don’t understand reason and facts, only self-righteous, hyper-sensitive emotions based on one-sided half-truths which they’ve been brainwashed into believing are the whole truth. They do not even realize what has been done to them. They are being used as pawns. I pity them. However, they are dangerous to freedom. And it angers me that this leftist machine is destroying the minds and futures of the idealistic and gullible young.

More Film News from Variety

Loading