This article originally appeared on AlterNet
Gerald Molan, the director of the extremely anti-Obama movie, 2016: Obama’s America , is mad that his and Dinesh D’Souza’s film wasn’t on the shortlist of documentaries nominated for an Academy Award.
“The action confirms my opinion that the bias against anything from a conservative point of view is dead on arrival in Hollywood circles,” he complained to the Hollywood Reporter.
That’s one explanation for its omission–but here are four far more likely reasons that the propaganda film wasn’t nominated.
1. The film is full of lies
Following the film’s profitable release, the White House responded to a number of the film’s inaccuracies, from its false assertions about what Obama believes to historical claims that even a simple Google search prove are false. One of the film’s most obvious lies include that Obama signed the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) legislation. It was actually former President George W. Bush who signed the program into law in 2008.
2. It doesn’t qualify for the documentary category
As an LA Times article outlines, the film really doesn’t qualify as a documentary at all. Instead, it is actually one long attack ad that lacks the credentials long accepted to make something count as a documentary. Rather than rely on interviews, the film includes a plethora of dramatic reenactments, which are highly controversial in documentaries. As the LA Times reports, more than 100 credited actors are included in the film.
“In weighing “2016′s” documentary credentials, one scene that resurfaces many times in the film is instructive,” the LA Times comments. “Shot at the grave of Obama’s father, the scene shows a close-up of a hand grasping some dirt and reverently dropping it onto the burial site. The hand is an actor’s, not Obama’s. The moment is merely another piece of heavy-handed drama conjured up by the filmmakers — nothing more, nothing less.”
The Washington Post’s review was even more explicit, calling the movie a “slick informercial.”
The filmmakers have relied on the “documentary” box office sales to demonstrate the film’s legitimacy. Yet, as the LA Times article notes, ticket sales are far from the way to judge a film’s quality or documentary status.
“Even enterprises that at best are vanity projects and at worst badly disguised and overly long attack ads are taken seriously by audiences — and box-office observers,” the authors wrote.
3. Even Rotten Tomatoes didn’t like it
While professional critics came out en masse against the film, it also received a negative response on crowd-sourced review websites. For example, the film received an abysmal rating of only 27 percent–yes out of 100 percent–on Rotten Tomatoes, with the vast majority of users voting that the movie was “rotten.”
4. Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has a history of making offensive and unfounded comments
Part of the reason for the backlash from the film critic world is due to the filmmaker’s long history of making outrageous and unfounded claims. About the Abu Ghraib scandal, for instance, D’Souza said it was evidence not of the dangerous of U.S. torture, but of “the sexual immodesty of liberal America.” He also wrote that the prison’s conditions were “comparable to the accommodations in midlevel Middle Eastern hotels.”
He has also claimed that the U.S.’s intellectual left is “secretly allied” with Osama Bin Laden’s movement. The New York Times has criticized D’Souza’s past work as being filled with “illogical arguments, distorted and cherry-picked information, ridiculous generalizations and nutty asides. It’s a nasty stewpot of intellectually untenable premises and irresponsible speculation that frequently reads like a “Saturday Night Live” parody of the crackpot right.”