Because it was "2016," the film in which conservative author Dinesh D'Souza warns of a dark future for America if Barack Obama is re-elected. The film's producer, Gerald Molen, who already won an Oscar for "Schindler's List," was scandalized. "The action confirms my opinion that the bias against anything from a conservative point of view is dead on arrival in Hollywood."
He shouldn't be surprised. But that doesn't mean he can't be indignant. Recent Oscar winners in this category include Michael Moore for "Bowling for Columbine" and Davis Guggenheim for his Al Gore flick, "An Inconvenient Truth." Is anyone anywhere prepared to argue that the political agendas in these documentaries didn't play a role in their selection? The (set ital) primary (end ital) role?
The Hollywood Reporter noted "2016" made more money at the box office than the combined receipts of the 15 films the Academy put on the short list this year. So why were those other ones selected? Could it be ... politics? Consider:
--"Bully," the Harvey Weinstein-produced film pushing the usual pro-gay agenda, which was promoted by picking a fight over its original "R" rating for too many F-words.
--"Chasing Ice," the latest "climate change" expose, which just hit a few theaters on Nov. 16. We're told by photographer and activist James Balog that glacial melting is, in fact, the "canary in the climate coal mine."
--"Detropia," a film about devastated Detroit by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who made the (previously Oscar-nominated) evangelical-bashing film "Jesus Camp." A retired teacher pleads: "No buffer between the rich and the poor? Only thing left is revolution."
--"Ethel," which is not a "movie" at all, but an HBO documentary. Or you could call it a "home movie," since it was made by Rory Kennedy about her mother, Ethel. This is hardly an expose. It's more like a mawkish valentine to the woman the filmmaker calls "Mummy."
--"How to Survive a Plague," on the radical-left AIDS protesters of over the Reagan administration's so-called indifference in the 1980s. The Boston Globe says it documents "the political seething at the federal government's failure to help combat the spread of AIDS with effective medical treatments." Chelsea Clinton recently starred at an event promoting the film.