The anti-Obama documentary "2016: Obama's America," produced by Bigfork
resident and Oscar-winning filmmaker Jerry Molen is "pushing buttons"
according to Molen. Molen said reactions to the film have ranged from applause
in theaters all over the country to being called a racist, a bigot, or
compared to the Nazis.
"I don't mind the critique, everyone has an opinion and I respect that," Molen said. "There have been some articles that insinuated I'm racist, and I'm not. I am deeply offended by that, they don't know me."
Among those critiques was an article from the Associated Press last week stating that the documentary's claims "don't hold water." Molen's response was that he trusts the writers' research. The documentary was written and narrated by conservative scholar Dinesh D'Souza who became a successful writer and public speaker after moving to America from India.
One of those claims was that the documentary attributes the national debt to Obama and doesn't explore the debt accumulated prior to his election in 2008. Molen's response to this is that the main concern is steps have not been taken toward reducing the national debt despite promises to do so.
"I am concerned about the debt and the direction of the country and where we are going fiscally, it seems we are driving ourselves off a cliff," Molen said. "It frightens me in some respects because I've seen no discipline with him and those around him as far as the fiscal health of the country, it's like they don't care."
Another point that's been made against the documentary is that it doesn't address Obama's orders for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 or the drone strikes that killed dozens of terrorists. Molen's response was that at some point the film crew had to stop adding content in order to focus on finishing the film.
Molen's work as producer for the documentary began in January 2012 and it was released in theaters this summer. Molen estimated it took about a year or longer to make the movie from start to finish.
"The intel was laid out by (President) Bush, they didn't give credit for getting the stars in the correct alignment. This didn't start three years ago, it has been a long time," Molen said. "For me it was the Seal, the guy who put his life on the line. All the president did was he said 'yeah, go ahead.'"
The premise of the film as a whole is what the year 2016 will be like if Obama wins the election this November. Molen's view is that we can expect more of the same things that happened during his first term as president. Molen said he is concerned about the amount of executive orders Obama gives out and that lobbyists have not been removed.
Molen went on to say that he believes that Romney's background in law and business would be beneficial to getting the country on a different course and help the unemployed.
"It hasn't worked in the last four years and we keep continuing downhill, we need to give someone else a chance to change it," Molen said. "I am sure he (Obama) loves the country, but I don't know where his allegiance lies."
So far "2016" has been in theaters since the middle of summer, expanding from a limited release to nationwide. As of Sept. 11 the film is number six in the box office, grossed $26,115,717 in the box office and played at 2,017 theaters.
As for Molen's career as a filmmaker, he's taking a new direction, away from the multi-million dollar blockbusters he's known for such as "Schindler's List," "Jurassic Park," and "Minority Report," and focusing on family films.
His next project is based on the children's book, "The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever." Another project he has in the works is a live-action adaptation of the Japanese animated series, "Lupin the Third."
"I am very grateful to him (D'Souza) for the opportunity to take the ride with him because I have the same overview of America, that we are still the greatest country on the planet and the opportunities are still there if they want to work, and they can achieve anything they can conceive," Molen said. "There is nothing stopping them except themselves."
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