By Molly Stazzone
Dinesh D’Souza. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.
The United States was created by inspiration. Through the ages, waves of inspiration launched the Revolutionary War, later abolished slavery, and eventually kick-started the drive of the American Dream.
Some believe that the inspiration has withered, like novelist and narrator Dinesh D’Souza. In his new documentary, America: Imagine the World Without Her, D’Souza illustrates his reasoning for why citizens lost their faith: socialism.
America, which debuted Independence Day weekend, opens with an abundance of footage depicting national historic events. Presented are a variety of prided manmade inventions, like the car and airplane, as well as photos of notable periods, like from the Civil War or Civil Rights Movement.
As a montage of national symbols is portrayed, music syncs their course with an iron steel worker laboring away.
This heroic man is symbolic in himself of how the US was built–with hard work over time. His efforts materialize letters, spelling out of a sacred word: A-M-E-R-I-C-A. The scene is probably the most entertaining part of the movie.
Past all the integrated imagery, when D’Souza gets to assessing the downfall of America, he does not blame lack of patriotism. According to him, it’s the current president.
D’Souza is omnipresent throughout the film, and his voiceovers narrate the country’s past. He debunks arguments of negative accusations that occurred in American history, like infamous stereotypes such as slavery, genocide, socialism, and even capitalism. He professes that today, the US is not at fault for abhorrent actions from a century or two ago.
The past events are acted (obviously), and the actors are satisfactory. D’Souza does a thorough job at stating the facts to all negativity in the US, and is especially convincing when he slashes socialism.
America aims to stop the socialist tendencies of common ownership related to Saul Alinsky, a writer and community organizer. As such, the actor who played Alinsky acts as if he were angry at the world. D’souza implies that the US. was not made to be a socialist country; it was made to be a capitalist country.
The narrative then moves forth to show the most recent, unrecorded Socialist American–a well-known man who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Past the acted scenes of Alinsky’s political party shows documented footage of President Obama signing Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare. The mission behind the Affordable Care Act is to provide customers to choose and afford their own health care. Though it was meant mainly to help fixed-income or uninsured Americans, we all remember the rocky road after its launch. Plus, how Obama got negative results when he said the famous (now infamous) line, “… if you like your health insurance you can keep it.” The statement received backlash when some health institutions did not accept Obama’s Affordable Care Act because the customers’ financial history didn’t quality them for the new insurance plan.
When D’Souza gives his insight on capitalism, he mentions a not-so-familiar name, Madam CJ Walker. She was the first self-made female millionaire, who launched her own hair-product manufacturing business. What’s also interesting is that Walker was born into a former slave family. She also married at a young age and became a single mother soon after.
Another woman in the film says that she was living on welfare and food stamps for seven years. She tells her story of starting out stubborn and wanting the government to supply everything. Eventually, she says she went to church for help, which revitalized her inspiration, charging her to finish up school, earn a degree, start a business and provide charity work.
Such stories of starting from nothing and succeeding, D’Souza states, are really what define America. He’s against equalizing successful individuals’ money and resources so that everyone gets a fair share.
He explains we Americans are the driving force of capitalism. He brings up actor Matt Damon; truth be told, he doesn’t get paid for his good looks or acting skills, but really, how many people pay to see his movies.
America: Imagine the World Without Her is an informative documentary. The historic imagery is fun to watch, the acting is decent, though seeing how D’Souza breaks down each American stereotype becomes boring at times.
Nevertheless, he succeeds at educating (and possibly inspiring) audiences on figures like Madam CJ Walker. The socialist part of the film comes off with a different sense, becoming much more serious.
Will audiences become convinced that President Obama’s health insurance is an act of socialism? Is socialism, which curtails our individual strength, really the demise of the country?
That assessment remains up to viewers’ personal judgment.