- 1 hr 45 min
America, released in 2014, is a documentary film by conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza. The film explores the history and legacy of the United States, arguing against what D'Souza sees as a pervasive narrative of American guilt and oppression. The film begins by examining the earlier inhabitants of the Americas, particularly the Native Americans. D'Souza argues that, contrary to popular belief, the native peoples were not particularly peaceful or harmonious with nature, and were often just as violent and corrupt as European colonizers. He goes on to praise the work of Christopher Columbus, arguing that his discovery of the New World opened up vast opportunities for human progress and innovation.
One of the most controversial sections of the film examines the institution of slavery in America. D'Souza acknowledges the horrors of the slave trade and the suffering it caused, but argues that it was not unique to America, and that in fact many cultures throughout history have practiced slavery. He also presents a number of instances where people of color have been slaveowners themselves, in the hopes of debunking the notion that slavery is solely a white versus black issue.
Another key point of focus for D'Souza is the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He posits that Lincoln was not motivated solely by moral repugnance for slavery, but rather by a desire to centralize power in the federal government. He also argues that the South was not fighting to preserve slavery, but rather to protect their sovereignty and individual freedoms.
Throughout the film, D'Souza also makes frequent comparisons between America and other countries, particularly those with socialist or communist systems. He argues that America is unique in the world for its emphasis on individual rights and limited government, and that attempts to move toward a more collectivist system will inevitably lead to tyranny and oppression.
One of the film's most memorable scenes involves D'Souza conducting a mock trial of America, defending the nation against charges of imperialism, racism, and greed. He uses a variety of rhetorical flourishes and historical anecdotes to make his case, and punctuates the scene with a dramatic appeal to the audience to believe in America's greatness.
Critics of America have accused it of being overly simplistic and one-sided in its portrayal of American history. Many have taken issue with D'Souza's arguments about slavery and Lincoln, which they see as revisionist and ahistorical. Others have charged that the film is deeply partisan, designed primarily to appeal to a conservative audience and reinforce right-wing ideologies.
Despite these criticisms, America was a commercial success upon its release, earning over $14 million at the box office. It also spawned a sequel, America: Imagine the World Without Her, which delved further into D'Souza's thoughts on American exceptionalism and the threats posed by progressive politics.
Overall, America is a deeply patriotic and unapologetic celebration of the United States and its unique place in the world. Whether or not you agree with D'Souza's arguments, the film is a fascinating exploration of America's past and present, and an impassioned defense of American values and culture.
America is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.1 and a MetaScore of 15.