Controversial Obama Documentary Is a Hit in Texas
Moviegoers packed a theater in Houston this weekend to see the hottest ticket in town, not "Ice Age 4? but "2016: Obama's America," the documentary based on conservative Dinesh D'Souza's book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage."
In its first three days, the film grossed $36,000 from showings in the one Regal Cinema in Houston, a turnout that the documentary's distributor said was a "pretty unusual gross for a limited independent release."
"We knew it had a lot of support just from demand on streets," said Ron Rodgers, the executive vice president of Rocky Mountain Pictures, which is distributing the film. "But not quite that large."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry even tweeted his support for the film, writing it was "this summer's must-see move!!"
The documentary dives into Obama's "unusual" past, as D'Souza calls it, and weaves through his multicultural history from Hawaii to Kenya to Indonesia to Chicago.
D'Souza, who also serves as the president of The Kings College in New York City, said the movie aims to show "just how different" the president is, a claim the author bases off of Obama's "global and multicultural background that no previous Democrat has held."
The book and the film are critical of President Obama because of his background. Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was from Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, was from Kansas.
"[He has] had a very different upbringing, you have had a very unusual set of parents," he said.
D'Souza argues that Obama's father instilled in him an anti-colonialist world view that dictates the president's policy decisions and makes him "emphatically" different from past Democratic presidents.
"Obama wants to shrink America's footprint in the world because he thinks we've been stepping on the world," D'Souza told ABC News. "And that is directly related to the ideology espoused by his father."
But when D'Souza asked Obama's half brother, George Obama, who lives in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, about the late Barack Obama Sr., he said he was an "intellectual guy."
"My mom was disappointed in me because actually I didn't finish my schooling," Obama said in a clip of the documentary fist posted by the Hollywood Reporter. "I really let her down and I let my father down."
Obama has only met his half-brother twice, once when George was 5 or 6 years old and again when Obama visited Kenya in 2006. But even with his powerful family ties, George Obama said he isn't looking to his half-brother for help.
"I think he has a family of his own," Obama said in an interview with conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza, first posted by the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm part of his family but I'm over-age. I help myself."
D'Souza criticized the president for not pulling his half-brother up out of the slums.
"Isn't it ironic that a president who has been traipsing around the country saying that 'we are our brothers' keeper' won't lift a finger to help his own brother who is living in Third World destitution?" D'Souza said.
But when D'Souza pressed the issue, Obama refused to criticize his half-brother, saying the president has "other issues to deal with."
"He's taking care of the world, so he's taking care of me," he said. "I am part of the world."
The documentary will begin showing across Houston this weekend and is expected to hit 600 to 800 theaters nationwide by September, Rodgers said.