Barack Obama is the most inscrutable president in the history of the United States. Elected in 2008 just two years out of being an Illinois state Senator with a record notably mostly for voting “present,” virtually nothing is known about his past. There are none of Obama’s college or law school transcripts that have been released to the public, because Obama refuses to authorize their release. There are no explanations as to why both he and his wife “voluntarily” surrendered their licenses to practice law. Take it from me, an attorney, one doesn’t go to law school for three years and then study hard to pass the bar and then just “voluntarily” surrender his license to practice law unless the only alternative is disbarment.
So I went into this film thinking I was going to hear more about these things that have been very well publicized even though ignored by the mainstream media. To my surprise, none of these troubling matters is mentioned in the film. This is not a biased attack on Obama. Instead this is an extremely well-made and well-reasoned examination of who Obama really is by writer/director (with John Sullivan) Dinesh D’Souza, an Indian who immigrated to the United States in 1978, culled from his 2010 book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage. D’Souza graduated a Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983. His film tells the story mainly through Obama himself reading from his book, Dreams from My Father, and interviews with people like Obama’s half brother, George Obama, in Kenya.
D’Souza goes into detail about Obama’s close eight-year relationship with Frank Marshall Davis, an American card-carrying Communist (Card #47544), who appears to have been almost a surrogate father for Obama during his formative years in Hawaii (in fact, there is another documentary not related to this one, Dreams from My Real Father, that argues that Davis is Obama’s real father). D’Souza also tells how his mother, Ann Dunham, dumped her second husband, Obama’s foster father, Lolo Soetero, when Lolo became too much of a champion of American free enterprise. While it doesn’t go into the question of whether Barack was actually adopted by Lolo, it does tell about the leftwing ideology of Obama’s mother, and documents the leftwing, if not Communist, ideology of Obama’s maternal grandparents in Hawaii who cared for him after he was sent to them by his mother.
D’Souza’s thesis is that Obama is governed by strong anti-colonial beliefs, born and bred by Davis, his mother, and grandparents, and subsequent close friends like notorious Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayres and Obama’s preacher and spiritual advisor for 20 years, Jeremiah Wright (“God Damn America!”). The film’s thesis explains a lot about Obama and his actions. It presents a frightening prospect for what the world will be like if Obama is re-elected and governs as a virtual potentate until 2016.
But D’Souza is even-handed. His interviews do not consist of people answering questions we can’t hear. A good example is his interview with Obama’s half brother in Kenya, whom Obama has ignored despite his grinding poverty. D’Souza includes the questions before Obama’s brother answers, so the answers are in perfect context with the questions. The film also doesn’t shy away from showing the leftwing pundits of the mainstream media pummeling D’Souza and his book and articles. Many of their venomous reactions to his book are shown.
I saw this at a Monday evening showing, when most theaters are virtually empty. There was a pretty good gathering at this showing and the audience applauded when the film ended. Opening last weekend, it had the highest gross of any movie that opened, which is astonishing when one considers that the second highest grossing film, Premium Rush opened in twice as many theaters. It’s already one of the top ten highest-grossing documentaries of all time.
No matter how you feel about Obama, this is a highly professional documentary that should be seen. It opens one’s eyes to information about a man who has gone to great lengths and expense to obfuscate his background and associations.