Movie claims Obama will bankrupt US if re-elected

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - It may not be jam-packed with amazingly cool special effects, but a new movie titled "2016: Obama's America" is making huge waves in and out of the theater.

Box office ticket sales passed $20 million, making it the second-highest grossing documentary of the year.

Audiences KPRC Local 2 observed seemed to be made up of people who fall on the conservative side of the political spectrum.

"I thought what it presented was factual. I didn't feel like it was slamming him (President Barack Obama). I thought it was just the history of his past," said Diane Cook, who classifies herself as a conservative voter.

Obama's history is not the only thing that has people talking. The movie's producer lays out what he sees as the country's future if Obama is re-elected. The movie claims Obama's plans will bankrupt the country.

Paul Knapp told KPRC Local 2 he heard about the movie on Facebook and from friends. He identifies himself as a Republican and said he found the movie "petrifying."

"I never have really trusted him. I have always considered him a snake-oil salesman, but now knowing his past and things," said Knapp.

Ultimately, Knapp said he just wanted to be more informed and that is what really brought him to the movie.

"It is still this producer's opinion of Barack -- to be fair about it. I would advise everybody, both parties and independents, to go see the movie and be a little more educated. It is a good documentary," Knapp said.

But, will the movie and its portrayal of Obama have a big impact when it comes to voting? University of Houston associate professor Brandon Rottinghaus said it may not switch people's votes, but it could do something even more powerful.

"I think it's about activating the people who already believe what the movie is telling them, so there's real value in that because election years are fought over voter turnout," said Rottinghaus.

Rottinghaus said the movie can be a tool used to bring wavering Republican voters back into the fold.

"It is a propaganda tool, in a way, to make sure the people who are already committed to defeating President Obama are recommitted to it," he said.

The movie first premiered in Houston in July at the Edward's Cinema on Interstate 10. Producer Gerald Molen, who is known for movies like Schindler's List and Jurassic Park, has said in interviews that Houston is a symbol of Americana.

Molen admitted it didn't hurt that Houston is the biggest city in the biggest conservative state.

Spokesman Kevin McVicker said choosing to launch the independent documentary in Houston had a lot to with the fact that conservative movies in the past have made money here.

On Labor Day weekend, the documentary hit 11 more screens in the city, including Rave Motion Pictures on Yorktown Parkway in West Houston. That is where Diane Cook took her daughter, Sarah, to watch it.

"I am home this weekend from college and so my mom asked me if I was interested," said Sarah Cook, who will be voting in her first election this year. "I didn't think it was extremely biased one way or the other. I thought it was a good presentation of historical facts."

Cook said she still wants to research party platforms before making a decision on which way to vote.

Rottinghaus said audiences shouldn't expect a pro-Obama movie anytime soon, but he does expect the party will address some of the questions brought up throughout the Democratic convention and the rest of the campaign.

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