D’Souza is the right-wing Michael Moore. Whatever you think of his politics, it’s hard to deny he is a charismatic and talented film-maker, whose works are highly personal travelogues of ideas full of imagery and smart commentary on the status quo, in which he himself is the endearing and intrepid star. Also like Moore, you can’t really fault or recommend any particular one of his films, they are all very similar: same issues, same preoccupations, same very upfront political bias but all highly watchable because of their wit, creativity and engaging host.
When I first started watching this film, having not seen his smash hit documentary “2016: Obama’s America”, I couldn’t believe he was actually thrown into prison following its high-profile criticism of the then most powerful Chief Executive in the world. But indeed it happened. D’Souza starts this film with an audacious and brilliant re-enactment of his time in the slammer and what he learned there. By the time he gets out, we are all onboard with his journey.
Of course he is an extremely partizan and one-sided observer of American politics, coming decidedly from a Jesuit, Conservative perspective. And he brings all of that agenda to this, his follow-up film that turns into a powerful and flamboyant chronological review of racism in the USA. While he does an admirable fourth estate job of holding the Democrats to account and exposing the pernicious malevolence of their secret plans and forgotten history of slavery, you can’t help but notice the gaping hole where a counterpart criticism of the Republican Party should be for many of the same reasons, if judged by the same standards. But that goes with the territory of a D’ Souza movie. It is a bravura piece of film-making only unfortunately marred by a nauseating, unnecessary and ridiculous orchestra scene at the end featuring children singing the Star-Spangled banner! All in all though, this is an entertaining and well-informed roller-coaster ride; super biased, over the top, but fun.