*As President Barack Obama was delivering his state of the union on Tuesday, hundreds of DVDs for the anti-Obama film “2016: Obama’s America” – featuring an interview with his impoverished half-brother – were being mailed to senators, congressmen, the governors of all 50 states and the nine Supreme Court justices, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
One copy also was mailed to the president at his White House address and another went to Vice President Joe Biden.
The film tries to make the point that Obama’s agenda is bad for America and that the rationale for his policies stems from a hard-left ideology that was instilled in him by the example set by his absentee father. One of the more compelling scenes is an interview with George Obama, the president’s half-brother who was living in a hut near Nairobi, Kenya at the time.
“2016″ was released theatrically in July and raked in $33.5 million, enough to make it the second biggest political documentary in U.S. history, right behind Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
While Lionsgate Home Entertainment is distributing the DVD, it was not involved in the decision to mail about 600 copies to legislators and other governmental power brokers.
Instead, the initiative was spearheaded by the film’s star and co-director Dinesh D’Souza, who shelled out $393 to mail the DVDs, which will arrive in different packaging than the official Lionsgate release.
While the DVDs were shipped Tuesday, recipients won’t get them for at least a week, given that parcels to high-ranking members of the U.S. government typically are screened by security personnel looking for anthrax, radiation and other hazards.
Despite the obvious marketing potential of such a move, D’Souza cites a different motivation.
“The film laid out a bold thesis that no one else was advancing,” D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter. “The movie has been a good predictor of Obama’s behavior and of the policies these lawmakers will be dealing with, so we sent it to them.”
Accompanying each DVD is a letter from D’Souza that reads:
“Since 2012 was an election year, I have a hunch that you weren’t able to slip away to the movies. You may have missed a film that I wrote and directed called 2016: Obama’s America. It was my first venture into filmmaking, and I was very pleased that it became the #2 highest grossing political documentary in history. After its theatrical run, the film was released on DVD. I’m pleased to present you with your own personal copy. I hope you will find it interesting and compelling, and I welcome any feedback you may have. Thank you for your service to our Nation.”
In the movie, “2016: Obama’s America,” based on Dinesh D’Souza’s best-selling book The Roots of Obama’s Rage, D’Souza refers to a news report four years ago about George Obama living in a hut in Nairobi, Kenya, “like something out of Slumdog Millionaire.”
In the film clip seen below, D’Souza interviews George Obama on what appears to be a park bench, and D’Souza asks why the half-brother of the most powerful man on the planet lives in poverty and without any financial help from President Obama.
“I think he has a family of his own,” George Obama says. “I’m a member of his family, but I’m over-age, so I help myself.”
D’Souza presses him by using the Biblical admonition – one that the president has also cited — that Americans ought to be “our brother’s keeper,” and George Obama shrugs off that insinuation, as well.
“He’s got other issues to deal with,” he says. “He’s taking care of the world, so he’s taking care of me.”
The focus of the movie, though, is the alleged anger at colonialism that President Obama inherited from his (and George’s) father.
As D’Souza puts it in the book: “This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anti-colonial ambitions, is now setting the nation’s agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.”
D’Souza, therefore, presses that theory with George Obama, and seems to get agreement from him, as the president’s brother argues that Kenya has fallen behind since its independence.
George Obama is the youngest of several children that Barack Obama, Sr. had with his four wives. He co-wrote a book in 2010, and D’Souza tracked him down through its publisher. D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter that he met George Obama at a hotel in Nairobi and then they toured his village in Huruma Flats, spending about 12 hours together.
“George is the rebel in Obama’s family. He’s the black sheep,” says D’Souza, who has penned several right-leaning books, such as Letters to a Young Conservative and What’s So Great About America.
“George doesn’t go along with the worship of the father and he is politically incorrect on a lot of topics,” says D’Souza. “And he’s particularly interesting because he lives in rubble on a few dollars a day while his powerful, multimillionaire brother doesn’t lift a finger to help him.”
2016 was produced by Gerald Molen, the Oscar-winning producer of “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic Park,” “Rain Man’ and “Minority Report,” and it was bankrolled by a couple of dozen wealthy investors allegedly from across the political spectrum, the most prominent being TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, who also backed “The Conspirator,” Robert Redford’s movie about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. His daughter, Laura Ricketts, is one of 27 high-profile, openly gay “super-bundlers” for Obama’s 2012 campaign, according to Forbes magazine.
Molen, who doesn’t talk politics while producing blockbusters for Steven Spielberg and other A-list moviemakers, has been incrementally outing himself as a rare conservative in the entertainment industry through interviews with THR, Breitbart.com and other outlets.
The movie opens in Houston this week and is screening by invitation-only in Los Angeles next week. It gets a national limited release on July 27.