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 11:22 PM
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

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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim 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 Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid