“This story is not true. Apart from all the facts.” This is how the movie opens My Son Hunter, which can be viewed online since this month at a raison of $ 21.99. An hour and a half in the theater of alternative facts – literally. This feature film serves the same audience as for example 2,000 Mules from Dinesh D’Souza, a documentary that aims to show that hundreds of thousands of votes were illegally cast for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election and that Donald Trump had actually won. And Capitol Punishment by Chris Burgard, who claims that police and left-wing extremists faked the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. Or the feature film The Obamagate Movie (2020), written with the premise that Barack Obama and the so-called deep state tried to undermine Donald Trump’s election campaign and presidency.
All those films are based on the same premise: ‘they’ don’t want us to hear or see ‘the truth’, so ‘we’ have to bring it out. In all these movies someone always says that the ‘mainstream media’ ignore the facts presented here in concert with the Democratic rulers. “An underground counterculture has sprung into motion,” says producer and creator of My Son Hunter, Phelim McAleer. He’s calling from Los Angeles, but don’t think we’re talking to Hollywood with that. “Every movie Hollywood puts out is like hitting our values with a hammer.”
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My Son Hunterdirected by Robert Davi, best known as an actor for villainous roles in The Goonies and Bond film License to Kill, is about the son of President Joe Biden. Hunter, stoned as he usually was, left a laptop full of compromising photos and emails with a repairman. Its unveiling sparked a flurry of reports and rumors on which McAleer and writer Brian Godawa based their feature film, and on the autobiography Beautiful Things from Hunter Biden himself. In the film, Hunter is a tragic figure who yearns for his father’s love. “I didn’t want to make him a cardboard figure with a villainous mustache, but a human being. You’re also more likely to believe a person is corrupt than a caricature,” says McAleer.
The films can hardly be seen in cinemas and not on the major streaming services
That’s what he was after: showing that son and father Biden are corrupt. One statement is certainly true – Hunter was indeed making millions in corrupt Ukraine just when his father was vice president responsible for US Ukraine policy. Other “facts” are more dubious, such as Joe (big guy) allegedly communicated Biden in Hunter’s earnings. Those allegations are therefore made a little more cautiously. “I have more lawyers than psychiatrists on my phone shortcuts,” says McAleer. “And that’s saying something in LA.”
Afraid of lawsuits
The films can hardly be seen in cinemas and not on the major streaming services. “I have My Son Hunter offered at Netflix, at Amazon. Didn’t want them. Oh, they were very careful. “This doesn’t fit our schedule,” they said,” says McAleer. “Cinemas? I don’t go to the cinema with my film,” Chris Burgard says over the phone from Texas. “No festival wants to show it. I couldn’t even buy advertising space from Fox News or Breitbart to Capitol Punishment to praise. They are all afraid of lawsuits.”
That fear is motivated by lawsuits pending against filmmakers and journalists who have made rickety claims about organizations or companies. Dominion, producer of voting machines, has billions of claims against the news channels Fox News and OAN. There it was alleged without substantiation that those machines would have turned votes for Trump into votes for Biden. A book by the creator of 2,000 Mules, with the same title and subject, was recently recalled from the bookstore by the publisher. Accusations were made in the book that cannot be heard in the film.
Films in this genre are only released online or on DVD, where they reach an audience that sees what they already suspected in the films. This week, Burgard got another call from a church, asking if they could play the DVD for the congregation.
Moved to Texas
But drawing begins to appear in the desert where these calling ones deliver their message. Even though they won’t be attending the Sundance Festival or premiering at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theater, they’re now available on at least two streaming platforms. Daily Wire (“streams what they don’t want to stream”) by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro shows movies like What’s a Womanon the ‘gender ideology’ movement and the series Fauci unmasked. SalemNow (“movies you don’t see anywhere else”) made over $1 million in two weeks 2,000 Mules, which was aggressively touted this spring at ultra-conservative America’s land day CPAC conference. And Breitbart, the right-wing news site that was run for a long time by Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon, where Burgard could not go with his advertisements, is also involved as a distributor. My Son Hunter.
Salem Media was based in California until 2021. Then the headquarters moved to Texas. The states of Texas and Florida, governed by arch-conservative governors, are the new destinations for filmmakers who no longer feel at home in Hollywood. Chris Burgard moved to Hollywood in 1985 after performing as lead actor Matthew Broderick’s dance double Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had worked. He starred in the TV series Growing Pains, which featured later stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Swank and Brad Pitt. “I had a great life in Hollywood. Until I border made.” Burgard filmed the illegal crossing of Mexican migrants on the southern border and accompanied American civilian militias to intercept these newcomers. “After that movie, I couldn’t get anyone on the phone in Hollywood.”
He too recently moved to Texas and now lives on a ranch near Dallas. “I escaped.” Burgard calls it “exciting that you no longer have to live in Hollywood to make movies.” Pelim McAleer still lives in Los Angeles. “I’m the last one here. All my friends live in Florida or Texas.” They haven’t changed, Burgard and McAleer say, Hollywood has changed. “Hunter Biden is a real Hollywood story,” says McAleer. “Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll. Man, Oliver Stone could have directed this movie. Back in the days.”
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of September 22, 2022