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Right-Wing Unveils More Poorly Made Agit-Docs: Watch Out for D'Souza's "America"

by Anthony Kaufman
March 18, 2013 10:22 AM
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At CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, NPR reports that there were more than 20 new right-wing documentaries on display, from "Hating Breitbart" to "FrackNation," as well as a trailer for author Dinesh D’Souza's follow-up to his right-wing agit-doc “2016: Obama’s America," simply called "America," which reportedly extols the virtues of American exceptionalism. But no matter how much money "2016; Obama's America" made, I contend that the film and its brethren have done little to change the quality of these films. 

They are poorly made and poorly reported, are obviously made with little attention to the art of the documentary form, but simply to preach to the converted.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, D’Souza has built the premise of his movie on the same kind of faulty logic that underlined his first film. “President Obama looks at America as an oppressive force, while I and millions of others around the world have a different view — that America has been a great blessing to its own people and to the world," he said. "We intend to provide both serious answers and have some fun as we take Obama’s dreams for America to their logical conclusions,” D’Souza said.

While the right-wing doc wave is obviously being embraced by its own, NPR reports that some CPAC attendees remain skeptical of these biased nonfiction offerings.

"Conservatives do a poor job of actually talking about the human element," said Mike Warse, a student from Colorado who watched pro-fracking documentary FrackNation.

"We've got economic arguments and statistics and all this other stuff that just isn't really helpful unless you can say, 'This is how what we believe makes somebody's life better,' " he told NPR.

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  • Bonnie | March 28, 2013 10:59 PMReply

    You seriously consider this a critical piece? This is a regurgitation of Media Matter talking points, of hackneyed phrases and unconnected rhetoric. Obviously, you have nothing of substance to say and instead quote the government paid-for NPR. Laughable. This is my first trip to this site, and it will be my last. You are totally bereft of any ability to discern fact from fiction and your pandering is obnoxious.

  • No | March 18, 2013 4:36 PMReply

    This is the weakest section of IndieWire. For a section that is supposedly about cinema and politics, it really offers nothing of depth regarding the intersection of the two. It certainly doesn't compare to the legendary magazine Cineaste. There is really no depth of analysis of films such as D'Souza's "2016: Obama’s America," which I didn't see because I'd read the book (actually the article). Yet this section, if I remember correctly, gave no analysis worthy of remembering. If this section is going to make the argument "Why do rightwing docs have to be so bad?", one can ask: Why isn't ReelPolitik a better blog re politics and entertainment?

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