'Death of a Nation' (2018) Movie Review
My History with Dinesh D’Souza
I’ve encountered this filmmaker once before when I watched Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party back in 2016. His film easily, without any real competition, made it to the top of my worst of the year list. At that time, it was by far the worst documentary I had ever seen in my life. Calling it a documentary is honestly a huge stretch since it was mainly Dinesh D’Souza spouting off for over a hundred minutes about how all Democrats are racist and believe in slavery without a shred of evidence being shown and only referring to events that are 200 years old. Now he’s doing the same exact thing again, only he’s now focused more on calling all Democrats nazis.
A Little Disclaimer
Before I go any further into my review I want to say that I don’t register myself as a Democrat or a Republican, I don’t follow much with politics at all except for what I occasionally see on the news or social media. That’s okay though because Death of a Nation isn’t really about politics or trying to give an in depth study on the true ideology and practices of the Democratic party, it’s about attempting to drive a wedge between people by using hate and calling Democrats racist for about a hundred minutes. This is a… “movie”… that’s main focus isn’t to truly enlighten people who may be unaware of what it means to be a Republican or Democrat, it’s only goal is to shine a light on the darkest part of American history with slavery and how Democrats are the reason for it while drawing parallels between progressivism and Nazism without any real logic or proof put into it. It is completely Dinesh’s negative opinions thrown on the screen so he can say, “Look, Republicans are better!” Not once acknowledging any sort of downfalls the Republican party has ever had, such as certain criminal syndicates being run during the Reagan era or the occasional pedophile. The argument is so one sided that Dinesh compares our own current Republican President, Donald Trump, as being pretty much the next Abraham Lincoln. Not exaggerating, he does that multiple times in this… “movie”. Even the most devout Republican would laugh at that.
There is no plot. Dinesh says that Democrats are Nazis. According to Dinesh D’Souza in this film, and I quote, “Democrats are the true racists, they are the true fascists. They want to steal our (America’s) income. They want to steal our earnings. And our wealth. And our freedom. And our lives. They’re trying to kill America by killing the economic and political and religious freedom of Americans.” That is a direct quote from Dinesh D’Souza himself. Which he can’t deny since he wrote and read the line himself. This is the mindset of the co-director/writer of these “documentaries”. He’s just a man filled with hate for Democrats and has been putting it on the big screen for several years now. The two that I’ve seen show zero artistic merit to them and contains extremely little in the way of facts and evidence; what few facts he does provide are things that can be seen in any history book. He claims democrats have been rewriting history to hide the fact that they supported slavery back in the 1800s. They must be doing a pretty terrible job since it’s public knowledge that was the case that most Democrats were supportive of slavery. But he uses that to say, “Well they were racist then so clearly they’re racist now and want slavery reinstated.” No proof of what he’s saying to pertain to modern Democrats at all, only that they were for slavery 200 years ago. Good enough.
I feel like I’m reviewing Hillary’s America all over again because this is the same exact crap that he pulled two years ago. Hell, there is a significant amount of reused footage from Hillary’s America put into Death of a Nation. Only this time he refers to Progressives being more like the Nazis instead of the Klu Klux Klan, although he does manage to squeeze that in there briefly as well. Saying how Hitler was inspired by the trail of tears, therefore that makes Democrats Nazis. Although he never provided any proof of Hitler actually being inspired by what the Democrats were involved in with pushing out the Native American population so I already don’t take that seriously. He looks at basic policies stated within Nazi Germany and says, “Hmm… doesn’t that seem familiar?” What? The fact that they both believe in health care? Such pure evil!
At one point Dinesh comes out and says that Adolf Hitler was fine with gay people as long as they kept their sex life behind closed doors, which that supposedly also means that Hitler could never be a Republican because he was cool with the gays… Okay. There’s a couple of issues with that statement there, Dinesh. One being that Hitler heavily persecuted the gay community, he was super NOT okay with homosexuals. Secondly, are you saying that someone has to be homophobic in order for them to be a Republican? If so, you’re not giving me a lot of reason to side with your party. Someone can be Republican and still support the gay community and on the other hand with a Democrat doesn’t necessarily have to support the homosexual lifestyle. The party one resides in doesn’t dictate how they feel about certain sexualities.
It is also declared that Hitler wasn’t really a Christian and secretly spoke negatively of the Christian faith, he says that there are recordings of Hitler saying all of this, but for some reason doesn’t present them in the film. Interesting. Not saying that they don’t exist because I honestly don’t know, but I am less inclined to believe someone when I’m not given at least some evidence to prove his claims. But he never does for anything he spouts out. He makes a statement and that’s all we have to go off of. “Hitler faked being a Christian in public and really wasn’t. Don’t worry, Trump says that he’s a Christian in public so it must be true.” Funny how we can trust one, but not the other.
Supposedly Dinesh’s answer to the question, “What can we as Americans do to fight against the Democratic tyranny?” is to become martyrs. Only saying that since when he asked that very question, the “documentary” cuts to a short film about a woman who spoke up against Hitler and was beheaded. So apparently all Republicans must die for their beliefs in order to stop the Democratic Plantation of America. Because Dinesh constantly refers to America being the slave plantation for Democrats throughout most of the run time. Dinesh makes sure to include that he himself is a victim of the Democratic tyranny since he was incarcerated. Let’s make this nice and sparkling clear, you misshapen muppet man, you committed a crime. You falsified records to financially support a candidate running for senate for more than you are legally allowed to finance. You knowingly and willingly broke this law, you pleaded guilty to breaking this law, and you spent the very least amount of time in a minimum security way house. Enough with playing the victim card. You aren’t a victim of anything except the idiocy disease.
And in the last few minutes he finally gets to his point, aside from Democrats being the “true” racists. Which is that Donald Trump is America’s savior and that he is the next Abraham Lincoln because he’s a Christian man exposing the evils of the Democratic party. Not entirely sure as to how Trump is exposing Democrats of anything since Dinesh didn’t provide anything to back that claim up. I also love how at the beginning of the movie, Dinesh makes it very apparent that he is mocking everyone who said that Donald Trump would never be President, but immediately after he goes on to say that he also never believed that Trump would make it into office. Then why are you bashing on all these other people for if you yourself didn’t think it was going to happen either? However, he did make sure to credit his movie, Hillary’s America, for being a major factor as to why Donald Trump was elected President of the United States… Hillary’s America, a movie that probably most of America was unaware of even existing is the true reason why Trump is in office. Sure. Let’s go with that.
On a Technical Aspect… It’s Still Awful.
Setting aside all of the hate filled, one-sided political propaganda with lack of evidence that this thing is cluttered with; this is still a bad “documentary” on the technical side of things. It’s poorly shot; the camera work looks disgustingly bland. Every frame is visually unappealing. The acting is bad. That is something I should never say about a documentary with ACTING BEING BAD in it. That is absurd. The editing is atrocious since there are parts where an interview between Dinesh and an interviewee would be going on and the interviewee's sentence would be abruptly cut off. Every interview is conducted amateurishly with every conversation Dinesh has with an interviewee always leads to, “So what you’re saying is that Democrats are Nazis”. Every time. Plus, the fact that he reuses his own footage from his previous films to make up a bulk of this one is beyond lazy.
The costumes look cheap and unconvincing. The CGI is laughable. The director(s) constantly do this specific thing with multiple actors to have them slowly turn their head to face the camera to try and emphasize the "importance" of what Dinesh is saying, but it’s eye-roll inducing. The movie randomly breaks into song, not once, but twice in the last twenty minutes. Obviously being a manipulative tactic in order to sway anyone into believing that Dinesh is a true patriot that cares about this country with throwing out two iconic American pride songs with a montage of stock footage showing several American landmarks. What a swell guy thinking so little of his audience that he thinks adding a couple of classic American songs will make them believe anything he says. Because we’re all idiots right? We don’t need facts. According to Dinesh, there’s no proof of anything that he’s saying because the Democrats have hidden it all. Well of course they did! So you just give me your word, Dinesh, that what you’re saying is the truth and I will blindly accept this as fact. Democrats are Nazis? Well, if you say so!
I hope that people don’t buy into his propaganda because this is dangerous. This is hatemongering at its worst; making a film for the sole reason to either make people hate other people of a certain party or to enforce that mindset for someone who already has it. This isn’t a good guy. This is a man that loves spreading hatred and anger. He’s not even a good filmmaker. He’s just bad on all accounts. Death of a Nation was somehow worse than Hillary’s America, not because it held as worse moral or even the technical aspects of it but because it was even lazier than his last movie. At least in Hillary’s America there was some insane and silly things sprinkled in like a hologram/ghost Klansman on horseback jumping through a projector screen and riding off into the distance as Woodrow Wilson nodded his head in acceptance. Or whenever it got to segments involving Hillary Clinton pretty much being visually paralleled to Darth Vader. That stuff was at least somewhat amusing. Death of a Nation has nothing like that and recycles old footage from previous movies. Everything about Death of a Nation is simply lazy, poorly executed and mean spirited. I hated it. I hated it. I hated it. I never want to see another thing made by this troll of a man ever again, I’m sick of his toxicity and lack of talent. This is his fourth film and I pray for it to be his last. After four “documentaries” he clearly hasn’t figured out how to actually make one. That’s it. I’m done.
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© 2018 John Plocar