News / USA

Political Movies Aim to Influence Voters

Political Movies Try to Influence Voters

x
Political Movies Try to Influence Votersi
|| 0:00:00
X
Penelope Poulou
October 09, 2012
In the lead up to the U.S. elections, two documentaries, one conservative the other liberal, are trying to discredit the presidential candidate of the opposite camp. Dinesh D' Souza's "Obama's America 2016" criticizes President Obama, a Democrat, as un-American, while the liberal mockumentary "Janeane From Des Moines" pokes fun at the Republicans on issues such as health care, gay marriage and the economy. These films attempt to sway voters. But can they? VOA's Penelope Poulou has more.

Political Movies Try to Influence Voters

TEXT SIZE - +
Penelope Poulou
In the lead up to the U.S. elections, two documentaries, one conservative the other liberal, are trying to discredit the presidential candidate of the opposite camp. Dinesh D'Souza's Obama's America 2016 criticizes President Obama, a Democrat, as un-American, while the liberal mockumentary Janeane From Des Moines pokes fun at the Republicans on issues such as health care, gay marriage and the economy. These films attempt to sway voters. But can they?

Dinesh D'Souza's film Obama's America 2016 contends that the U.S. president has a hidden agenda on religion, war and the economy. Since its premiere, the documentary has raked in over $30 million, making it among the top grossing political documentaries of all time.

Nina Seavey, director of the Documentary Center at George Washington University, says films like that aim to galvanize voters of the same persuasion.

"You have to find a way to their heart so that they don't maybe give you $25, but they go and raise more money," she said. "They go out and they knock on doors and they go out and do voter registration and they go out and they get their passion on for whatever sort of political purpose, in this case to defeat Barack Obama."

The liberal mockumentary Janeane From Des Moines appeals to Democrats by poking fun at Republican candidates. It showcases Janeane, played by actress Jane Edith Wilson, as a Republican woman from Iowa attending real Republican rallies.  

Janeane fiercely opposes Obama's health care plan until she is out of a job, loses her health insurance and finds out she has breast cancer.

Films like these are nothing new. Months before the 2004 election, Michael Moore released his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 targeting President George W. Bush. The film earned nearly $120 million at the box office.

"The biggest documentary ever! Did it defeat George Bush? No," says Seavey. She points out also that most serious documentaries do not reach a mass audience because of their limited release.

One of them is Alex Gibney's Oscar winning film Taxi to the Dark Side about the abusive interrogations of terror subjects during the administration of President George W. Bush.

Films like this might have an impact but eventually, says Seavey, they are forgotten.  She cites Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth about global warming.

“We all thought that it was going to be somehow a revolution of understanding that we have to do something about the heating up of our planet," said Seavey.  But, the film concludes: "Well, we still have global warming, and we still show no resolve to making things slow down."

Still, Seavey hopes that small films with a constructive message will make an impression on the American electorate as they enter households through cable and online streaming.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: robertsgt40 from: San Antonio Tx
October 09, 2012 11:52 AM
"Political Movies Aim to Influence Voters" Gee, ya think? These are really just infomercials. They are used to brainwash the dimwitted into justification for what is done in their name. Look at all the war movies over the decades(John Wayne comes to mind). Many were made during or just before war. I remember seeing Sands Of Iwo Jima(1949), prepping us for Korea. My all time favorite was the Green Berets. I saw it in 1968. Scared me to death. Then I was drafted and the army would show it to us...in Vietnam. Laughed my a$$ off the second time. To better get a grasp on wars, read up on Smedley Butler. He wrote "War Is A Racket"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid