The press did all it could to ignore the political documentary “2016: Obama’s America.”
Most movie critics didn’t bother to review it at first, and when they finally did they lazily called it propaganda or, in the case of Entertainment Weekly, racist.
The film, out today on DVD, ended up becoming the second highest grossing political documentary of all time.
Let’s start with Oscar-winning producer Gerald Molen of “Schindler’s List” fame. Molen made sure this wasn’t a low-budget, hastily arranged hit job on a sitting president. The film is beautiful to behold, a travelogue fused with a political narrative that deserved to be seen on a big screen.
Add Dinesh D’Souza, the bespectacled author and intellect whose presence in the film is both trustworthy and avuncular.
We cannot forget President Barack Obama’s hand in the film’s success. The president’s poor record made audiences eager to hear some reasons why he makes the decisions he makes.
The key factor in the film’s success, frankly, is the media itself. Mainstream news outlets couldn’t be bothered to dig into Obama’s past. When something unflattering came up from Obama’s early years, like a long-standing bond with a hateful reverend, press outlets spun the news in Obama’s favor time and time again.
Meanwhile, we learned all about a prank Mitt Romney pulled while a prep school student and watched journalists hound the GOP presidential contender for his tax records as if the reporters were simply extensions of Obama’s reelection committee.
That left audiences hungry for answers. You don’t have to believe the conclusions drawn in “2016: Obama’s America,” but watching them brought to the screen helps put the last four years in context.
The DVD release lacks special features, but for those who weren’t able to see “2016” in theaters can now watch someone ask the questions that should have been asked four-plus years ago.