‘Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party’
Directors: Dinesh D’Souza, Bruce Schooley
Genre: Documentary, kind of
0 Globes (out of 5)
It is physically exhausting to watch “Hillary’s America.” The third and most insane filmic screed from neo-con troll Dinesh D’Souza is “The Room” of political cinema — a movie so jam-packed with uniquely ridiculous crap (and worse acting) that you’ll need an after-sex cigarette to recover. It’s a feature length Trump speech, where lies and distortions and inane reasoning and batty non-sequiturs fly so fast one can’t fact-check them all. The only sane response is to laugh; when it outgrosses summer comedies like “Neighbors 2” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” combined, it won’t be for lack of effort.
D’Souza is hardly a household name, and yet the conservative pundit, bestselling author and convicted felon has made two of the highest grossing documentaries in history. “2016: Obama’s America” and “America: Imagine the World without Her” (coming soon: “America America America America: America”) were each masterpieces of dog-whistling, hungry to activate the worst instincts in his party and weaponize his dupes against our current leaders. Like “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “2016” failed at the one thing it was created to do: to unseat a sitting president. This, even after it mounted the dubious argument that O was seeking to destroy white America in the name of his Kenyan father. (D’Souza, who is from India, thinks he can say the racist things all white people can’t because he wasn’t born here.)
Even before the rise of Trump, D’Souza was the guy who would say anything to defeat his perceived enemies. (He once wrote a book blaming liberals for 9/11 that even his colleagues thought was bull.) He’s at it again with “Hillary’s America,” which is split into two, not exactly conjoining parts. For the first hour he takes a lengthy dip into the Democratic Party’s unseemly past. Did you know that they, not the Republicans, were pro-slavery? You probably do. Title be damned, it’s no secret. Yet D’Souza pretends like he’s stumbled upon some buried historical text, not something you can find by clicking “I’m feeling lucky” on Google.
It wasn’t until the ’60s that the two parties switched ideologies, a turn D’Souza spends 30 seconds unconvincingly debunking. After all, he burned too much time on terrible actors in History Channel-on-a-bad-day re-enactments of, say, Andrew Jackson leading an afternoon lunch toast (“To the Democratic Party!”) while slaves are whipped in the background. He seems to think today’s Democrats are forever stained by their history, just as he says Saul Alinsky is not to be trusted because he grifted a couple sandwiches when he was young. The idea that you can’t change is an interesting one coming from a member of a party all about pulling one’s self up from the bootstraps. It’s especially rich coming from someone who in his last film said that America’s reputation shouldn’t be forever sullied because the founding fathers owned slaves.