'Hillary's America': Film Review
Dinesh D'Souza follows up his 'Obama's America' with a vicious attack on the Democratic party and its presidential candidate.
Dinesh D'Souza better hope that Hillary Clinton doesn't win the upcoming election. In his new "documentary" co-directed by Bruce Schooley, the conservative filmmaker/author claims that he was incarcerated for a campaign finance law violation not because he did anything wrong — he was only helping out a friend! — but rather because he had incurred the wrath of the Democratic establishment with his previous right-wing film, Obama's America.
"The Obama administration tried to shut me up," he whines, later adding, "If you make a film criticizing the most powerful man in the world, expect the empire to strike back."
The Star Wars reference is the cleverest thing about his latest effort, Hillary's America, which seeks to skewer the presidential candidate in the same way he did the current occupant of the White House. If he served a mere eight months in a halfway house (depicted in the film as a maximum-security prison that makes the one in the HBO series Oz look like a country club) for his previous offense, in his warped vision he'll face lethal injection, engineered by a vengeful Clinton, for the next one.
The film — which has already opened to excellent box-office returns in several prime red-state locations — is a vicious cinematic diatribe that makes Michael Moore's efforts on the other side of the political spectrum look decorous. Per its subtitle, it purports to tell The Secret History of the Democratic Party, which includes earthshaking revelations such as Andrew Jackson, gasp, owned slaves and stole land from the Native Americans. News flash, Dinesh: Have you heard he's being demoted from the front of the $20 bill?
And so it goes, with the film's intrepid hero — giving himself far more screen time than his total lack of charisma warrants — learning from his fellow convicts that politicians, especially of the Democratic variety, are the true criminals, and he's the one to bring them to justice. We're thus treated to an inflammatory (if not entirely untrue) historical portrait of Democrats as racists who championed slavery, killed Abraham Lincoln and founded the Ku Klux Klan. The highly subjective history lesson continues with segments devoted to Woodrow Wilson, seen salivating with glee during a White House screening of Birth of a Nation, and Lyndon Johnson, depicted as a scheming politician conspiring with his fellow Democrats to give "uppity" black voters just enough concessions to keep them happy and voting for their party "for the next 200 years." These mock historical tidbits are presented in the form of stiffly staged dramatic recreations that make the ones in Comedy Central's Drunk History seem sober.
D'Souza doesn't actually get to Clinton until late in the film, first delivering a blistering portrait of Saul Alinsky in which the community leader is portrayed as evil incarnate for having apparently conned a cafeteria out of some free meals. The young Hillary — played by an actress who seems to be auditioning for the devilish lead in a spinoff of The Omen — is seen laughing hysterically at Richard Nixon, with D'Souza's typically overheated narration informing us that she's plotting to "take over the government" with husband Bill as her "pitchman." Rather than being a victim of her cheating spouse's infidelities, she's his "fixer" who orchestrates his affairs for her own political ends. The segment devoted to the alleged financial improprieties of the Clinton Foundation is hilariously accompanied by scenes from the movie Evita.
Utterly lacking nuance and any sense of proportion, the irresponsible film depicts Democrats not as possessing misguided political ideas but rather as "depraved crooks" and "hateful people." While the current Republican National Convention indicates that more than a few conservatives share this viewpoint, it's to be hoped that the more sensible among them will reject Hillary's America as the drivel that it is.
Distributor: Quality Flix, D'Souza Media
Directors-screenwriters: Dinesh D'Souza, Bruce Schooley
Producer: Gerald R. Molen
Executive producers: Dinesh D'Souza, Gerald R. Molen, Bruce Schooley
Costume designer: Stephen Chudej
Composer: Stephen Nathaniel Limbaugh III
Rated PG, 106 minutes