A producer who worked on Jurassic Park, Twister, Schindler's List and other blockbusters has come to Texas to debut his newest movie — a political documentary that says President Obama seeks to weaken America's global influence.
Gerald Molen will screen 2016: Obama's America for the first time Friday in Houston. The film, based on books by conservative author Dinesh D'Souza, looks at Obama's past and speculates on how it could be influencing the present. It asserts that Obama seeks to downsize America's standard of living because of anti-colonialist ideals held by his father.
“Obama has a dream, a dream from his father, that colonialism be set right, and America be downsized,” the official movie trailer says.
In an interview with the Tribune, Molen spoke of his involvement in the film, why he thinks it is important and his expectations for the premiere. The following is an edited version of the transcript.
TT: Can you tell me a little about the film?
Molen: It's based on The Roots of Obama's Rage and also an upcoming book by Dinesh D'Souza coming out in August titled appropriately Obama's America. It's based on both those books and basically is giving an overview of what America might look like in 2016 if Obama is elected again.
TT: And what does that America look like?
Molen: If you take a look at his own words, his writings, the promises he's made — I think it pretty well tells the American people what they can expect, and what is on the agenda that hasn't been accomplished. For me, those things are a little disconcerting.
TT: What do you hope the audience comes away with?
Molen: There's no particular message that we're trying to get across besides that we want people to do their own research and basically just become aware of what is going on around them. Everyone wants to understand what is best for their families and best for their children and grandchildren because they care about that, and I think there's a message for people to get awakened to what kind of dilemma we might have in 2016 if Obama is elected for another four years.
TT: Are there things Obama is doing now that indicate we are on that path? For instance, Obama's immigration policy and health care reform was recently upheld — do these big issues play into the movie at all?
Molen: I think so in general they certainly do. I suggest also take a look at what has been going on in the past three and a half years. There has been a tremendous amount of executive orders signed by the president and he has promised to circumvent Congress if he doesn't get his way, which he has done on some occasions, and these are all basically warning signs about what could happen in 2016. That's why we want people to see the film, and to make a difference.
TT: Can you point to any specific executive orders that support the film's argument?
Molen: One of the latest ones gives the government the power to take over all communications in the event of an emergency. It doesn't have to be an international or national emergency; it's whatever he says it is. I don't have the list of all of the executive orders right now, but that is a concern of mine. It's one example of this particular president making Congress irrelevant. That's something that really concerns me. He's taken a lot of his power now through executive orders and executive power, has been running around Congress. If he doesn't get what he wants, he just goes around them and that's not what America is all about. That's why we have multiple branches of government. If he gets elected for a second term, he doesn't have to worry about re-election again, and can make Congress irrelevant, and that bothers me.
TT: Are there any other indicators that Obama is trying to downsize America?
Molen: I would really, really like you to see the film; that way it's all in context.
TT: How can he execute an extreme agenda with checks and balances in place?
Molen: He's already been doing it, and I've been waiting for someone to stand up, any American, whether its a member of the Senate or the House, a Democrat or a Republican, and say "You can't do this. You have go through the House, you have to go through the Senate." And he is not doing that, and nobody is saying anything. I don't understand it.
TT: Why focus on 2016, rather than what is happening now?
Molen: If he can get re-elected he's in until 2016. He doesn't have to worry about another campaign and he has four more years. For me, the movie is looking back through a microscope before he became president, the things he wrote and said, and the promises he made. The county made him our president and I'll respect that vote by the people, but the other part of that is I have the right to question him if I don't understand him or disagree. My whole involvement with this thing from the beginning was to defend those changes in our culture, laws and basic freedoms. He said he wants change, and to transform the country, but for what?
TT: How can Obama be so hugely influenced by his father, when they didn't know each other very well?
Molen: The book that Dinesh D'Souza wrote lays that out very clearly, about how he came to the conclusions he did. The reason there was no information about our president is for some reason there has been a freeze on any information on him. When George W. Bush became president, the media went crazy trying to get his school grades, and things like that, and then when they released them and found out that his grades were better than John Kerry's, there was no more discussion about it. In this case, the media has not vetted the president, there has been no disclosure of school transcripts, how well he did or what he studied. We should be able to know our president. He asks for us to vote for him, but we should be able to know who we're voting for.
TT: You're premiering the film in Houston. Why did your team decide to premiere it here in Texas?
Molen: We had a discussion and Houston, being quite the center of Americana that it was, seemed an appropriate place to premiere the movie, and I'm glad to be here.
TT: What about reception nationwide? Texas is pretty conservative, but have you experienced much backlash?
Molen: Oh goodness it has already started. There was one review of the film by Salon.com, I think, that was rather scathing. But what I found interesting is how can someone review a film they haven't seen yet? They just used the idea of what it might be about and wrote a review for it. And there will be others. Yes, it's a very conservative area here, and it will go out into other parts of the country, but that's good. Let's get those discussions started. Maybe it will get people to do their own research and make conclusions for themselves. If there are people that are angry, so be it, but I hope there are more people who are pleased with it. I hope it speaks to the independents and opens people's eyes to do their own research. They make their own decisions, that's fine, but they need to have all the information.
TT: Is this your first venture into politics?
Molen: This is my first venture into this kind of a documentary film.
TT: You've made so many blockbuster films; why make this documentary?
Molen: Well, it's true, my career is basically storytelling, the motion picture business. But this opportunity for me was a chance to get involved doing something that I felt was very important for the country. I could join forces with Dinesh D'Souza and the people he surrounds himself with, and become part of that team, then I'm 100 percent behind it.