Just two days after Dinesh D'Souza pleaded innocent to federal indictment charges that say he violated campaign finance laws, filmmakers partnering with the conservative author and activist for the upcoming "America" documentary released a trailer for the movie set for opening July 4.
"I want to take this progressive, leftist critique head on," D'Souza says in the trailer. The movie will include re-creations of some of the major events in American history, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"America" is directed by John Sullivan and co-produced by Gray Frederickson, who won an Oscar for producing "The Godfather" Part II, and Gerald Molen, who won an Oscar for "Schindler's List." D'Souza and Sullivan co-directed "2016: Obama's America." The film, released in 2012, took a hard look at Obama's past, including his father's associations and political leanings. "2016" took in 33 million at the box office and became the second most popular political documentary in history, behind Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," which earned $119 million in 2004, according to THR.
D'Souza was arraigned Friday in New York on charges he made illegal contributions to the campaign of Wendy Long by way of using straw donors. Long is a friend of D'Souza's, according to news reports, whose run for Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat in 2012 failed.
The production team behind "America" issued a statement over the weekend that supports D'Souza, who is a former King's College president and was a policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and said the July 4 release of the movie is on schedule.
"When American citizens begin to suspect that people are being arrested for alleged minor violations because of their vocal dissent against their elected representatives or rulers, it breeds disrespect and contempt for the law and suspicion of those officials," Molen told THR. "If this unfortunate action against Dinesh is intended to deter the release of his upcoming film, 'America' that effort will fail."
The film, wrote and produced by D'Souza, "makes the claim that 1960s radical leftism is more or less indistinguishable from current mainstream liberalism, a doctrine that he says preaches the United States is the product of 'stealing and plunder' from Native Americans, Mexicans and African-American slaves," writes THR's Paul Bond.
After pleading innocent, D'Souza was released Friday on $500,000 bond. The court asked him to surrender his passport and submit to certain travel restrictions. D'Souza's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said D'Souza "did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent."
See official "America" trailer below: