There are very good intentions at the core of America: Imagine a World Without Her, Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan’s follow-up to their smash hit 2016: Obama’s America. In focusing much of their attack on Howard Zinn, the filmmakers look to rewrite history again, this time in a more positive manner. That isn’t to say the documentary is out to defend slavery or imperialism or any of the other shameful things spotlighted in “The People’s History of the United States,” but it does concentrate on how the nation has continually gotten on the right path and put its wrongdoings behind. Narrating and appearing on screen as the film’s main driving force, D’Souza implies that America is great because we did have that Civil War and eventually abolished slavery. Basically, he believes we should be celebrating the fact that we no longer treat people like property, not harping on the fact that we once did.
What should be an easy bit of spin, though, winds up a terribly argued thesis on why America is the best – which comes down to stating that at least it’s not that bad – with an ultimate agenda to literally demonize Saul Alinsky and of course note the “Lucifer-like” activist’s influence on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The latter even gets a teenage portrayal in one of the film’s many bland simulations, the worst of which opens America so awkwardly and persistently that it could turn viewers off immediately. Just as with D’Souza and Sullivan’s last documentary (also produced by Schindler’s List Oscar winner Gerald R. Molen), this one stumbles in its judgment of what works, including moments that don’t help its cause or illustrate events effectively. Never mind the motives behind this piece of political propaganda, the actual problem with America is that it is structured poorly, with a third act that seems tacked on even though that’s where it finally gets to the point.