Florida Lawmaker Seeks Support for Bill Requiring Schools to Show Dinesh D'Souza Movie

Dinesh D'Souza 2 - P - 2014
Associated Press

State Sen. Alan Hays will screen "America" for his colleagues on Wednesday.

A Florida lawmaker who is trying to require that students in his state see America, a documentary film by conservative activist Dinesh D'Souza, is screening the movie for his colleagues on Wednesday in an effort to drum up support for his plan.

Florida State Sen. Alan Hays will host the event at the AMC Tallahassee 20 theater near Florida's Capitol building and the screening will be bankrolled by Movie to Movement, a non-profit organization that promotes films that it deems are good for the culture.

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The bill that Hays proposed states that Florida's middle schools and high schools must show the film though parents can choose for their children to opt out. Movie to Movement has already said it is prepared to supply the 1,700 DVDs that would be needed should the bill pass.

The film — which seeks to counter what D'Souza sees as illegitimate attacks on the U.S. — was mildly controversial when it was released in June, though mostly because the political left objected to D'Souza's previous film, 2016: Obama's America, which was a critical look at President Barack Obama and became the second most popular political documentary of all time.

America, though, became more controversial after D'Souza plead guilty in September to violating campaign finance laws. Since then, he has been spending his nights at a confinement center in San Diego.

"It's great to hear that America is being recognized for it's educational value," D'Souza tells The Hollywood Reporter. "With Michael Moore and Al Gore's films being shown in schools all the time, it's great to see Alan Hays is attempting to even the scale."

Hays said he introduced his bill because he believes teachers on the left too often distort the history of the country by focusing on the negative and downplaying the positive.

"Our troops have a long record of rescuing the world from the actions of tyrants," said Hays.  "Look which country is the first to lend assistance when natural disasters occur across the globe. We live in the finest country in the world and our students need to be taught the truth, not some politically slanted opinion of a textbook author."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com