Sunday, September 9, 2012

movie review: 2016

I had been wanting to see this movie since it came out a few weeks ago, and finally got the chance. And, overall, I wasn't disappointed. Evaluating a documentary-type of film is somewhat different from doing so with the regular movie. I'll admit here that my own political views are very similar to d'Souzas, so knowing a bit going in about what the movie was about, it was the kind of thing I had anticipated. It pretty much follows de'Sousa around, showing his conversations with other people. There are also a few re-enactments, and excerpts of the president reading from one of his books. D'Souza visits Indonesia and Kenya, along with places in the US that are associated with the President's past. The over all tone of the movie is fairly reasonable; indeed, d'Souza at times seems not entirely unsympathetic to the President in some ways, as for example when he notes similarities in their backgrounds. But there's little doubt that his ideas are very different from the Presidents, and that this film is not one friendly to him. Overall, the movie is fairly well made. It seems fairly coherent and doesn't engage in much over-the-top rhetoric. But the value of a film like this is in how accurate, or not, it's claims are. We've had examples from Gore and Moore that have played fast-and-loose with the facts, so has d'Souza, too? I'm not sure how to answer that, though if he had, I would imagine in the couple of weeks since it was released, someone's fact-checked it more thoroughly than I'm able or have the time to. Not to encourage sloth or mindless acceptance, because claims by anyone on this side or that should be tested and confirmed so far as possible. I know that this movie is essentially an election movie, and the fact that it's released a few months before an election in which it's primary subject is a candidate should be noted and kept in mind. I recommend it. The information it gives seems relevant, especially since it's stuff we should have been told this time four years ago.

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