Score: 3 stars *** out of 4 stars ****
An Indian immigrant educated at Dartmouth, documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has been labeled “the Michael Moore” of the far Right by the far Left media which goes far in explaining why the left is so wrong so often about so many things. For the most part, lefties love Moore because he targets the right while D’Souza does the opposite. The big problem is that Moore relies far more on conjecture, innuendo and raw emotion than actual facts and, again, D’Souza does the exact opposite.
In this, his fourth feature film, D’Souza examines the connection between the politics of World War II-era Germany and Italy and their philosophical proximity to the U.S. during, before, and afterwards while clearing up the current confusion surrounding the true meaning of Fascism. D’Souza also devotes considerable time drawing provocative yet deadly accurate comparisons to the first term presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump.
The first of many shockers uncorked by D’Souza is a brief but startling history of the little known scientific field of study called Eugenics. Supported by and practiced to some degree or another by notable progressives including Madison Grant and Margaret Sanger, Eugenics — in theory — is the manipulation of human genes for the purpose of reducing birth defects and improving life.
Long before assuming power, Adolf Hitler caught wind of what Grant and Sanger were doing, communicated regularly with Grant, and then proceeded to twist and modify it in order to achieve his “Master Race.” Hitler was also an admirer of President Andrew Jackson (also the founder of the Democratic Party) and his dogged determination in ridding the nation of the red man and keeping the black man squarely in his place. More on that in a bit.
At about the same time in Italy, Benito Mussolini overtook his country proudly and openly declaring it a Fascist state. In the early 1930s President Franklin Roosevelt referred to Mussolini has “an admirable Italian gentleman” while embracing many of his same Fascist ideals which also frequently aligned with those found in the Nazi doctrine. Among these were the state’s total control of health care, education, its media, its banks, an early version of “eminent domain” and governmental ownership of large businesses. D’Souza might have gone too far when stating these principals could have been drawn up by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders although some of the comparisons are valid.
From this point, D’Souza springboards to Lincoln, his campaign for the presidency and the opposition after his election levied by disgruntled southern (and northern) Democrats. Not willing to accept the voting results, the South started, then lost, the Civil War and when that didn’t work, they started the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization determined to wipe out blacks, Jews, and Catholics. The KKK quietly faded away but resurfaced not long after Democrat President Woodrow Wilson (a strong supporter of racial segregation) screened the film “Birth of a Nation” at the White House with his cabinet which led to the Klan’s resurgence.
Although not nearly as extreme, the lead-up, election, and fallout of the Trump presidency shares much with that of Lincoln. Democrats vehemently opposed his election and, even in the wake of roaring success on a multitude of issues (including record-low minority unemployment), are now doing everything to discredit him with some (think Antifa) to the point of violent protest and property destruction.
Perhaps the most shocking tidbit contained in the movie is the barely known childhood history of uber-rich Democrat benefactor George Soros. A young Jewish teen living in Hungary at the start of WWII, Soros was fortunate enough to be given papers by a connected adult stating he was indeed a Christian. The young Soros was then put to work by the Nazis pilfering and cataloging the belongings of captured Jews and doing so without quarter. In an interview, Soros openly stated he felt no remorse for his actions as a young man by saying “if it wasn’t me it would have been someone else.”
Apart from the aforementioned Warren/Sanders comment, D’Souza’s only glaring misstep is the 11th hour inclusion of three over-cooked musical performances. Meant to be stirring and inspirational, they instead come off as cloying, mawkish, and top-heavy with misplaced sentimentality.
If the past is any kind indicator, the Left and particularly the bulk of the liberal-leaning film critic community are going to rip “Death of a Nation” apart, not so much because of the content or the style but simply because of the messenger.
Long before D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America” (2012), "America: Imagine the World Without Her" (2014), and “Hilary’s America: the Secret History of the Democratic Party” (2016) his books drew the ire of the far Left and ever since he’s been their perpetual punching bag. The truth hurts, but for some, the pain never goes away and is all too often converted into blathering rage.
Michael Clark has written for over 30 local and national media outlets and is currently the only newspaper-based film critic providing original content in the Atlanta Top 10 media marketplace and he recently co-founded the Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Over the last two decades, Mr. Clark has written over 3,500 movie reviews and film related articles for the Gwinnett Daily Post and is one of the scant few conservative-minded U.S. critics. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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