I was visiting one of my favorite entertainment websites – Deadline.com – when I came across an interview Deadline did with Dinesh D’Souza, the co-director of the political documentary “2016: Obama’s America.”
In the interview, D’Souza said the film has not received the attention it deserves. He is quoted saying the following: “If I were Michael Moore and I were to make a film that was the number two political documentary of all time, I would be on every network. I would be on Meet the Press, and I would be profiled in The New York Times, and I would be all over MSNBC. Instead large sectors of the press are refusing to cover the film. They are just pretending it doesn’t exist.”
Does Dinesh D’Souza, whose movie has been in theaters all of 2 months (in wide release only since August 24th), think he’s in the same class as Michael Moore?
As documentary filmmakers go, Michael Moore is in a class by himself. Michael Moore’s movies have grossed $340 million, including the highest grossing documentary of all time – Fahrenheit 9/11. He’s been nominated for two Oscars and won one for 2003’s “Bowling for Columbine.” He’s a name people know. Dinesh D’Souza? Not so much.
No matter how great their movies may be, most documentary filmmakers toil in obscurity. Yet, D’Souza makes a movie and expects 8 weeks into its release he will somehow receive as much press coverage as Michael Moore receives for his films.
“2016: Obama’s America” has grossed approximately $27 million since its release in July. This makes it the second highest grossing political documentary of all time. Having a movie, even a hit political documentary, hardly justifies getting on every network or being profiled by major newspapers.
Did someone tell D’Souza that making documentaries was his ticket to getting invited on every network or did he come to that conclusion on his own?
The average American can’t even name a documentary filmmaker other than Michael Moore. As a result, it would not be a stretch to say that Michael Moore, who has been making movies for over 20 years, might be a more noteworthy subject for both networks and national newspapers.
Having the second highest grossing political documentary of all time isn’t exactly like having the second highest grossing film of all time. Heck, it isn’t even like having the second highest grossing documentary of all time.
Does D’Souza expect everyone who makes a documentary film to receive the accolades and press coverage that Michael Moore does? My guess is that D’Souza has received far more press coverage than Moore received 8 weeks after “Roger & Me” was released in 1989.
While D’Souza doesn’t implicitly state that there’s a “liberal media bias” against him, he definitely seems to hint that there is. Of course, it could be purely by coincidence that he named The New York Times and MSNBC.
No doubt there are those (Google – mainstream media biased against 2016 Obama’s America) who seem to feel the movie and director have been slighted. But despite the ravings of the D’Souza faithful, the fact remains that Michael Moore is in a class by himself as far documentary filmmakers goes.
In fact, Moore seems to also get more publicity than the directors of some of Hollywood’s biggest hit films. How many profiles have you read this year about the directors of “The Hunger Games” or “Marvel’s The Avengers?”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” has been in the press a lot, but rarely, if ever, is the focus on the director of the film. The movie has grossed over $1.5 billion and I doubt if the director of that film has made the same kind of press rounds that D’Souza seems to feel he’s entitled to as a newbie filmmaker.
For a guy with a documentary he says exposes truths, D’Souza seems unable or unwilling to see this simple truth about himself and his film.