Lean Reviews

A review site for conservative, libertarian, center-right readers. We'll tell you what's good, what's bad, what's so-so, and what you'll like even if you have to stumble past liberal tropes to get to a good story

Movie: 2016: Obama’s America

By Allie Duzett

If you do nothing else this weekend, go see Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016: Obama’s America (2012) while it’s still in theaters. Liberal or conservative, an open-minded person will have to agree that this movie is presented in a fair way, taking nearly 100% of its claims straight from President Obama’s own memoirs, and taking the viewer on a journey through the president’s life to see how his personal challenges and life experiences have shaped him into the man (or should I say, person) he is today.

2016 has been a surprise smash hit, rising to become the top documentary of the year thus far, and making over $5,000 per theater last weekend. This weekend it is expanding into 1,700+ theaters, due to the vast success of its opening weekend. Friends of mine across the country texted me when they saw the film, noting that their theaters were just about standing room only. Even in my corner of uber-leftwing Maryland, the theater I saw it in was fairly full–and this was at 5:00 pm on a Friday, an hour when most people are eating dinner.

The film follows the shaping of President Obama, as the president himself writes about it in his memoir, Dreams from my Father. Viewers see writer Dinesh D’Souza interviewing friends and family of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., our president’s father, in an attempt to glean a better understanding of what has shaped Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.’s worldview. Barack Obama’s worldview is a salient issue, because the way he sees the world influences how he treats it. And when you’re the most powerful man in the world, the way you see and treat the world is important indeed.

The film makes a compelling case that President Obama is motivated largely by anti-colonial sentiment, a sentiment he inherited from his anti-colonial father and left-wing mother. This sentiment lives on today in President Obama’s actions as president of the United States. The film goes on to extrapolate based on the evidence what the America of 2016 would look like if Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. is reelected. It is not a pretty picture.

Over the course of the film, D’Souza notably contacts Barack Obama’s younger brother George, who has been living in a hut in Kenya. George explains his own views on colonialism, in contrast to his father’s and brother’s view. Interestingly, after the movie was complete, George called D’Souza up for help, saying that D’Souza was “like a brother” to him–a sad commentary on a president who has self-righteously invoked a Biblical declaration that Americans should all be their brother’s and sister’s keepers,

The movie’s tagline sums it up: Love him. Hate him. You don’t know him.

Commit to knowing our president a little bit better this weekend: go see 2016: Obama’s America today.


Allie Duzett credits many of her political views to a particularly obtuse high school government teacher. His overtly biased teaching is almost 100% responsible for making her the activist she is today. Thanks, Mr. Heckert!


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