Last August, I reviewed conservative pundit and film maker Dinesh D’Souza’s book: The Big Lie – Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.
His latest film is based on The Big Lie as well as his most recent book, Death of a Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party. The result is the recently released movie, “Death of a Nation”: Can We Save America a Second Time?”.
The film’s reviews on Rotten Tomatoes show there is vast difference in the opinions from professional critics (an amazing 0%) as opposed to the audience that actually watched it (91%).
The disparity is so obviously based on politics that PJ Media’s Roger Simon actually requested a real movie review of that film. I thought I would oblige, having fled the California heat and wildfires for the blessed relief of air-conditioning.
As a political documentary, I enjoyed elements of Death of a Nation immensely. D’Souza shines when he discusses history, featuring old clips and re-enactments to make his point. I found the material related to Nazi Germany engrossing. Perhaps the most moving was the story of Sophie Scholl, a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group who was convicted of treason and beheaded.
I couldn’t help but think that Scholl offers a stark contrast to today’s social justice warriors on campus and Antifa.
The point of the film’s focus on the fascist governments of Adolph Hitler and Italy’s Benito Mussolini is to demonstrate their ideological connection to American progressivism. Additionally, the movie also reviews the history of racism in our country and explores its roots in the Democratic Party of Andrew Jackson’s time and outlines how today’s Democrats engineered a blame-shift to Republicans via Richard Nixon’s mythical “Southern Strategy”.
Where the movie lost me a bit was that it ended up being a mish-mash of these historical elements. D’Souza flipped back and forth between Nazi Germany and the American Civil War so much that the impact of these two different themes was lessened. I believe that the D’Souza film might have been better served by focusing on one era or the other, perhaps having enough material for a second film.
Another issue I had was the advertising campaign, which featured President Trump being compared with President Abraham Lincoln. I expected to see a bit more of Trump in the movie and a stronger tie made to Lincoln. While I believe the better analogy would be between Trump and the fighting general, President Ulysses Grant, I would have welcomed a bit more exploration of this topic as promoted.
One bonus element of Death of a Nation was the video review of Trump’s unexpected victory, which I enjoyed immensely. The large theater was about 1/3 full in Southern California, so the audience cheers seem a good sign that the President has some support in the home of the #Resistance.
Finally, the two musical interludes stuffed in the movie were indulgent and distracting. I would recommend that if D’Souza would like to have his material taken more seriously, then leave this element on the cutting room floor (or pick one of the productions, and save it for the end).
I thoroughly enjoyed D’Souza’s previous films 2016: Obama’s America and Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. In fact, I thought his review of his time in a halfway house after he was convicted for a campaign finance violation was a entertaining and creative segue to the topic of Hillary’s plans for America. I would give both movies 4.5 stars, and enthusiastically recommend them.
In comparison, I give Death of a Nation 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is worth seeing if you enjoy this type of film, but the books would be better for understanding the themes and sharing D’Souza’s ideas with others.DONATE
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