Hollywood Reporter: Why Dinesh D'Souza's "America" Features Clips of Matt Damon, Woody Harrelson

Originally published at The Hollywood Reporter.

The celebrities are depicted as liberals who actively undermine the idea of “American exceptionalism” through their work. U2 rocker Bono, however, is championed in the film.

Moviegoers heading to Dinesh D’Souza’s America over the July 4 weekend probably aren’t expecting much star power, so they might be surprised when celebrities like Bono, Matt Damon and Woody Harrelson pop up on screen.

While President Obama, Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton — as well as Hillary Clinton — are portrayed as disciples of Saul Alinsky, the movie also indicts Damon and Harrelson as members of the left who actively undermine the idea of “American exceptionalism” through their work and their status as celebrities.

“It’s fun to make our points through illustrations using recognizable figures from popular culture. We have to explain to many people who Frederick Douglass is, but everyone knows Matt Damon and Bono,” D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter. “I actually like the Bourne movies, so I guess I am one of the people putting money in Matt Damon’s pocket. Now if only I could also put some brains into his head.”

America is D’Souza’s follow-up to his hit documentary 2016: Obama’s America, a negative look at the U.S. president. In America, D’Souza, a conservative author, speaker and pundit, attempts to dismantle leftist assaults on the United States, and he includes topics like race relations, capitalism and war.

The movie shows Harrelson discussing the nation’s “nonstop violence” against Native Americans with author Howard Zinn, the late historian whose best known book, A People’s History of the United States, the movie argues, is biased in order to make the U.S. look bad.

Along the same lines, Damon is seen in America in character as Will Hunting pushing the Zinn book in a scene from his 1997 Oscar-winning movie, Good Will Hunting, and there’s also a scene in America from HBO’s The Sopranos that touts the same book.

Bono, on the other hand, is shown embracing American exceptionalism. So much so, in fact, that his appearance in the film received loud applause at the June 30 premiere in Los Angeles, which was packed primarily with entertainment-industry conservatives.

The actors and U2 frontman did not participate in the making of the movie, but D’Souza used speeches, interviews, film and TV clips to make his points. “It’s not a right-left issue; it’s a right-wrong issue. And America has constantly been on the side of what’s right,” says Bono in the film.

America opened wide on July 2 after enjoying a solid limited release last weekend, overcoming several negative reviews in the mainstream media. THR‘s film reviewer Stephen Farber, for example, calls it a “dubious piece of agitprop.”

Conservatives, on the other hand, seem thrilled with the movie, as evidenced by an on-air, impassioned and unsolicited plug from Rush Limbaugh, who predicted on his radio show that America will be “huge.”

At the Rotten Tomatoes website, 82 percent of the audience likes America while just 17 percent of professional critics gave it a positive review thus far.

Prior to movie’s opening, the filmmakers behind it released several clips. While the movie is already in theaters, THR has obtained another clip showing brief images of Matthews and Sharpton in a segment chiefly about leftist activist Saul Alinsky.

“We got to get away from all this reconciliation jazz and all this friendship and all that kind of business,” Alinsky says in the video clip, referring to the political opponents of the left.


Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.


Available for pre-order now, Dinesh D’Souza’s new book United States of Socialism reveals modern-day socialism as a “identity socialism.” Who is behind it, why is it evil, and how can we stop it?

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Keep reading:

Hollywood Reporter: D'Souza's "America" Soars on the 4th
Breitbart: L.A. Rolls out the Red Carpet for D'Souza's "America" Premiere
TheCollegeConservative: Vladimir Davidiuk Reviews "America"
TheBlaze: Dinesh D'Souza and Bill Ayers Battle During Contentious "Kelly File" Debate
Breitbart: "America" Review: Full-Throated Defense of U.S. in Time for the Fourth
Christian Post: D'Souza's "America" Showcases Progressives Painting an Ugly Nation
Interviews for the Release of "America"
"America" Opens Nationwide

Through D'Souza's trademark incisiveness, wit, and originality, United States of Socialism reveals how the Left uses the Venezuelan formula for socialism, decisively refutes this new face of socialism, chillingly documents the full range of the Left’s gangster tendencies, and provocatively exposes the tactics of the socialist Left.

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  • Jane Fischer says:

    July 5, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Thank you Dinesh D’Souza for making this movie! It gives me hope that ‘we the people’ can take our country back. We only need to keep talking about the idea of America! It may take another whole generation but I will pray for the patience and perserverance to convey the positives that will lift us all. It means making new choices for our representatives and making them often as I see this as what has corrupted our republic.

  • Elliot Harvey says:

    July 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    This is a political film. D’Souza observes that over recent decades US history has been rewritten and taught anew at all levels of the educational system. Political correctness and peer pressure have made dissent with the “new history” impossible and we are becoming ashamed of being Americans. This movie is a brilliant attempt to combat a whole cultural movement at once. It is interesting, ambitious, and thought-provoking. D’Souza summarizes six “charges” against the United States, including genocide, slavery, inequality, and theft, and he presents a dramatic defense. Is the movie’s defense of America comprehensive? Would it hold up in a court? Of course not–it’s a movie! Critics who want this movie to answer and rebut millions of pages and forty years of socialist propaganda are missing the point. This movie brilliantly points us in the right direction, encouraging all people to listen to these arguments and do more research in order to finish making the case. The indictment of the United States is no longer taking place in a “kangaroo court”–this movie demands that America receive a “fair trial” at last.

  • Carol Offenbach says:

    July 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Mr. Harvey:………..AMEN! Couldn’t have said it better.
    Thank you!

  • Miss Diana says:

    July 7, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Alinsky personifies evil here, and his proteges are now in power. This is going to take a LOT of prayer to fix.