Originally posted at The Guardian.
Its trailer flags up the US Democratic party’s roots in slavery and accuses Hillary Clinton of trying to steal the upcoming presidential election. Now rightwing director Dinesh D’Souza is hoping his new film, Hillary’s America, will derail the former first lady’s chances of becoming the first female leader of the United States.
D’Souza’s latest polemic will be released this July in US cinemas, ahead of the November election. The Indian-born US neo-conservative commentator is known for his previous films 2016: Obama’s America – a 2012 documentary that imagined a terrible future under Barack Obama – and 2014’s America: Imagine the World Without Her, which also focused on Clinton.
The trailer for Hillary’s America has proven controversial for its use of racist imagery, including fictionalised footage of the Klu Klux Klan, to paint a picture of the Democratic party’s early roots in opposition to abolitionism. But producer Gerald Molen told the Hollywood Reporter such narratives were entirely justified “to show exactly where the Democratic party came from”.
He said: “Democrats don’t want to talk about it. They like to say racism was the fault of Republicans. That is pure bullshit … They don’t teach the history of Democrats and slavery. Students know nothing about history, nothing about America. They don’t know 600,000 people died in the civil ar, most of them trying to protect black Americans from Democrats who supported slavery.”
The trailer also presents D’Souza – who was convicted of illegal contributions to a New York Republican candidate’s failed US senate bid in 2014 and sentenced to eight months at a confinement centre near his home in San Diego – as a victim of political bullying. The film-maker is seen in a fictionalised prison-style environment, complete with musclebound cons and tattooed gang members, telling his audience: “It all began when the Obama administration tried to shut me up.”
After detailing the Democratic party’s past and claimed present crimes, including references to Clinton use of a private email account during the presidential hopeful’s time as US secretary of state, the trailer finishes with a doom-laden orchestral flourish as D’Souza asks: “What if the goal of the Democratic party was to steal the most valuable thing the world has ever produced? What if their plan was to steal America? Who will stop them now?”
Molen admitted the images of D’Souza in jail were also fictionalised, but described them as vital to show the Democratic party’s hypocrisy over the director’s incarceration. He referenced the Democratic US senator Harry Reid, who escaped censure in 2006 after offering to reimburse his own campaign fund for $3,300 which had been used as contributions to a staff Christmas fund.
Introducing the trailer to an audience of conservatives at the weekend, D’Souza said: “Four years ago I made the film 2016: Obama’s America, which kind of upset the thin-skinned narcissist in the White House … if that film got me eight months in the slammer, this new movie is going to earn me life in prison. This film is a sordid history of the Democratic party from the beginning all the way through Hillary.”
While it ultimately failed in its stated aim to prevent a second Obama term at the White House, 2016: Obama’s America was the top documentary of 2012 in North America with $33.4m in receipts. It remains in the top five highest-grossing documentaries of all time at the US box office, despite scathing reviews from most mainstream critics.
Read more at The Guardian.
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