Filmmaker takes a look at heritage and policy
Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza connects his own history as an Indian immigrant to that of Obama’s Kenyan heritage
November 2, 2012, 1:30 am·
President Obama’s past could come back to haunt the nation by 2016 if he’s re-elected, says author Dinesh D’Souza.
Last night, the Penn College Republicans presented a screening of “2016: Obama’s America,” a documentary based on a book by D’Souza and produced by Gerald Molen, co-producer of “Schindler’s List.”
The film, narrated by D’Souza, takes a look at President Obama’s Kenyan background and how his past has influenced his political actions today. The film also explores how Obama’s background will continue to be a large factor in his decisions if he is re-elected.
D’Souza connects his own history as an Indian immigrant to that of Obama’s Kenyan heritage. The film opens on the streets of India, where D’Souza spent his childhood. From here, the audience travels to the streets of Kenya, showing the ways that heritage greatly impact the policies made by political figures.
College junior Arielle Klepach, vice president of College Republicans and organizer of the event, said the movie raised key issues, especially in light of the election and current debate on immigration.
“I think it raised some really interesting points — how somebody’s past and history can really affect the decisions they make later on, especially for a politician,” she said.
Klepach, who comes from an immigrant family herself, added, “It’s something that personally resonates with me a lot … the concept of where you came from and how that influences your conception of what Americans should be like and what ‘American’ means for people, especially for immigrant families.”
Klepach and College Republicans brought the film to Penn after hearing from an organization affiliated with the film’s production company that sends the DVD to colleges free of charge.
“We thought it would give a good insight,” Klepach said.
Around 20 people attended the event. Some, such as College freshman Aidan McConnell, the freshman liaison of College Republicans, were intrigued by the film’s controversy.
D’Souza delves into Obama’s father’s anti-colonialist views, which, he argues, have shaped Obama’s perception of America. D’Souza believes that because of Obama’s Kenyan background, he will attempt to “shrink America’s footprint in the world because he thinks we’ve been stepping on the world,” as D’Souza stated in an interview with ABC News.
Regarding this controversial stance, McConnell said whether or not this is Obama’s personal view, the film raises a relevant issue. “This conflicts with something that is very much inherent in the consciousness of Americans. We are constantly worried, are we a colonial empire, or are we the empire of ideals that Dinesh D’Souza talks about?”
Speaking generally of the film, McConnell said, “At the University of Pennsylvania, it’s important for individuals, regardless of their political party, to come and see what the other party is about. What exactly is the impetus behind why people think a certain way?”
With this question in mind, McConnell invited his classmate, college freshman Jordan Trafton. Trafton, a Democrat, was curious about the film.
“I thought it felt very exaggerated,” he said. “I understand the arguments it was making, but it seemed too make-believe almost, too hyped up.”
While “2016: Obama’s America” has sparked controversy for its unilateral views, D’Souza ends his film ominously, leaving it up to the audience to create their own opinion. “The future is in your hands.”