Dinesh D’Souza’s newest film, “Police State,” chronicles the real-life stories of everyday Americans who have endured the wrath of a weaponized government and of the whistleblowers who are exposing its abuse of power.
The film will be shown Wednesday at a red-carpet event at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump, who is currently facing 91 felony charges in four separate cases, is the police state’s primary target, according to D’Souza.
Ahead of the Mar-a-Lago screening, D’Souza spoke with The Daily Signal about why he embarked on this project and how he hopes the film will awaken Americans to this troubling reality.
“I’m very proud of this film. It’s perhaps my most cinematic work, and also my most urgent call to action,” D’Souza told The Daily Signal. “I’ve sort of likened myself to the animal that is warning the herd that, ‘Hey, we’re in danger. We need to take protective action.’”
For some victims, it might already be too late. Political prisoners arrested after the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol are featured in the film, along with others like Mark Houck, the pro-life father whose house was stormed on Sept. 23, 2022, by the FBI.
“It is amazing how many areas of government are penetrated by these sort of police state tactics,” D’Souza said, noting that he interviewed whistleblowers from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Air Marshal Service and FBI.
D’Souza said Americans have witnessed a gradual erosion of their rights over the past few decades. Starting with an expansion of the surveillance state following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the government seized more power during the COVID-19 pandemic and again after Jan. 6. Today, it’s not just government, but also corporations and other institutions contributing to the police state.
“The most important job of a film is to alert people that the situation is different than you think. Even on the Republican side, on the conservative side, there’s a lot of complacency,” D’Souza said. “We don’t really live in the Reagan era anymore. And yet there’s probably a sizable chunk of people right of center who are just kind of wishing we did. They’re pining for that kind of ‘kinder, gentler’ America. And as a result, they don’t see that we’ve seen a gangsterization of our politics on the Left.”
“Police State” features two notable critics of government overreach: former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino and actor Nick Searcy. It also includes interviews with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas.
D’Souza, who will host a screening for members of Congress at The Heritage Foundation later this month, said he’s hoping to alert elected officials to the dangers of a police state.
“I came to the country a generation ago as a teenager, and I was excited by the abundance and opportunity of America, as many immigrants are, but I was also exhilarated at this idea that you have these basic, unalienable rights, the Founders called them, and a number of them, not all, but a number enumerated in the Bill of Rights,” D’Souza said. “Fast-forward to now, and I looked around and I said, ‘Wait, not a single one of these rights is completely secure.’”