Political Documentary Surprising Industry Watchers

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Tuesday, September 40, 2012

It has already become one of the top-grossing documentaries of the year and it is continuing what some are calling an unlikely march at the box office.

Over the past month, 2016: Obama's America has drawn an increasing amount of moviegoers, praise and criticism.

The film premiered in Houston last month and since then has gone on to play in more than 1,700 theaters nationwide and has earned nearly $20 million.

Wichita business owner David Lies was among attendees at a Tuesday evening showing of the film at the 21st Street Warren Theatre in west Wichita.

He described what he was anticipating.

"Where's it going? What's going to happen to us if we don't get Obama removed," he said. "That's basically what I'm after to see, 'How does it happen?'"

Lies feels the country has lacked direction while President Barack Obama has been in office.

"I think direction is a thing that the presidency needs to give us and we just haven't had it in this last four years," he said. "If we'd found that, it might have been different, but we're waiting to see a direction."

Leland and Linda League were also attending the showing, curious to see what the film had to say.

"See if some of the stuff I've heard; see how it compares to the movie," said Leland League. "A little bit better idea of how much of it to believe and how much to discount."

He said he found the film reinforcing much of what he has already heard and believed.

"I was in hopes I'd find something different," League said. "I was in hopes I could look at it and say, 'This really isn't the way I'm seeing it.'"

Some of the film's critics have called it a 90-minute attack ad on the President's reelection bid. Others have compared it to Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11, which was characterized by its critics as a hit piece on president George W. Bush.

While, like many documentaries, 2016: Obama's America does not have much of a promotional budget, it has received quite a bit of media attention and has been discussed on talk television and talk radio. That's part of the driving force getting viewers to theaters.

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