Here's a fair warning to those patriotic, country-loving Americans stepping into a theater to watch conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's latest docudrama "America: Imagine the World Without Her:" You are about to witness U.S. citizens with scholarly backgrounds hate on your nation.
The good news about the movie that officially opens Wednesday (July 2) is that although a good chunk of it features progressives spewing out hate for their country in their own words, the film does a decent job of debunking the narrative that some surprisingly hold that the U.S. is historically and currently a force of evil across the world. The "feel good" part just takes a long time to develop – perhaps in hopes that exposing the liberal ideology of those featured is enough.
EXCLUSIVE CLIP OF "AMERICA" BELOW
As The Hollywood Reporter puts it in its synopsis of the movie: "The Lionsgate docudrama begins with a musing on what might have happened if George Washington had been killed during the Revolutionary War, leading to the erasure of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and other icons of Americana."
THR's review is acccurate in stating that "viewers expecting an alternate history will be disappointed," since the film then shifts back and forth from the perspectives of those painting America with a primarily checkered past to the views of D'Souza and some of those he interviews that talk about the nation in a more balanced tone.
Despite any weaknesses the movie may have, the docudrama should be required viewing for any high school U.S. History and Current Events class. The same could be said about D'Souza's first movie, "2016: Obama's America." In both movies, the nation's history is presented in a balanced fashion.
Those interviewed in the movie who represent ideology on the opposite end of the political spectrum from D'Souza's, include philosopher Noam Chomsky and former college professor Ward Churchill.
Instead of shying away from letting the progressives have a spotlight in the movie, D'Souza lets them rip with their criticisms of the United States. Topics such as slavery, territorial disputes with Mexico and the treatment of Native Americans are fair game. Accepting those criticisms, he then goes on to point out individuals, facts and incidents that refute the idea that America is inherently evil--in particular the viewpoints expressed in the late Howard Zinn's popular book, A People's History of the United States.
The movie did have a pre-nationwide release opening in Houston and Atlanta over last weekend, and did well at the box office, according to THR. D'Souza and producer Gerald R. Molen (Schindler's List) commented on the limited release.
"After the success of 2016 I knew there was an audience that wanted to be proud of our country and see a film that took an honest look at how this country came to be and where we go from here. We're grateful to our friends in Atlanta and Houston for their strong support," D'Souza said in a statement.
Molen added, "What makes this film unlike any today is the history behind it, the truth about American history and the place we have in world history. As we expand to 1,000 screens next week [July 2 opening], I call upon all Americans to join us at their local theater to celebrate our great country."
EXCLUSIVE CLIP OF "AMERICA" BELOW