Dreams from My Real Father

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Dreams from My Real Father
DreamsFromMyRealFather MoviePoster.jpg
Directed by Joel Gilbert
Produced by Joel Gilbert
Written by Joel Gilbert
Narrated by Ed Law[1]
Music by Wayne Peet
Edited by Paul Belanger
Joel Gilbert
Highway 61 Entertainment
Distributed by MVD Visual
Release dates
  • July 24, 2012 (2012-07-24)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Dreams from My Real Father (sub-titled: A Story of Reds and Deception) is a Joel Gilbert-produced 2012 American documentary-style film and an associated website which assert that U.S. President Barack Obama's biological father was Communist Party USA activist Frank Marshall Davis, and that a long-running conspiracy groomed him for the Presidency.[2][3] The title is derived from the title of Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father.


Frank Marshall Davis on left; Obama on right.

The film maintains that Frank Marshall Davis met Obama's mother Ann Dunham through her father Stanley Dunham, whom Gilbert claims was not a furniture salesman, but actually a CIA agent tasked with monitoring Communists in Hawaii.

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert said the film was the result of two years of research. He claims he found nude and fetish photos of Obama's mother Ann Dunham, which he says were taken in late 1960 by Frank Marshall Davis in Davis' Hawaii home. Gilbert compared these to Dunham's high school pictures and says he found the correlation to be "obvious".

Gilbert says that over one million copies of his film were mailed to voters in Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Colorado in the time leading up to the 2012 United States presidential election. He refused to disclose who funded the film's distribution, and a report by The Daily Beast pointed out that there was no way to verify the numbers claimed by Gilbert.[3] A complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission, but the commission determined the film was "press", and therefore was not required to disclose how it was funded.[4]


Critical reaction in the mainstream media (by and large widely supportive of Obama) was uniformly negative, although the documentary did find support elsewhere: Bill Armistead, then chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, endorsed the film and called its theory "absolutely terrifying".[5] WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi accepted the film's photographic claims, calling it "compelling".[6] Jack Cashill, also a WorldNetDaily contributor, called the film "the most fascinating video treatment of the Obama story that I have yet to see."[7]

However, even amongst staunch conservatives, the reaction was not uniformly positive. Some believers in the Birther theory, such as Orly Taitz, disliked the film, since it claims Obama's father was an American, albeit a Communist.[8] Gilbert, in turn, has disparaged this position: "...'birthers' are barking up the wrong tree. It's not a question of where Obama was born -- but rather, one of paternity."[9]

David Maraniss, author of Barack Obama: The Story, called the film "preposterous", saying that it is "depressing to have so much fictional, unreported, conspiratorial, unhistorical stuff floating around." Among anti-Obama productions, Maraniss said "This DVD is the worst of the bunch."[2]

At The Daily Beast, the leftist[10] commentator Michelle Goldberg wrote, "It's tempting to ignore Dreams from My Real Father because it's so preposterous... What matters here is not that a lone crank made a vulgar conspiracy video, one that outdoes even birther propaganda in its lunacy and bad taste. It’s that the video is finding an audience on the right."[3]

Of the ad for the film in the New York Post, one Businessweek writer wrote: "The ad's one irrefutable claim is that the DVD is topping Amazon[.com]’s documentary sales. With few exceptions, reviewers are giving it five stars and gushing reviews. They give less credence to some of Gilbert's other films, including Elvis Found Alive and Paul McCartney Really Is Dead."[11]

Malik Obama

In early 2015, President Obama's estranged Kenyan half-brother Malik Obama became a supporter of Gilbert's thesis, and supports a DNA test.[12][13][14]

Subsequent research

Gilbert continues to release updated findings in a "Breaking News" section.

See also


  1. Tapson, Mark (Aug 14, 2012). "Dreams from My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception". frontpagemag.com. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stratton, Jim (October 18, 2012). "Anti-Obama DVD floods local mailboxes". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Goldberg, Michelle (September 28, 2012). "With ‘Dreams from My Real Father,’ Have Obama Haters Hit Rock Bottom?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  4. Weigel, David (April 8, 2016). "How a film about Obama’s communist ‘real father’ won at the FEC". Washington Post. 
  5. Rayfield, Jillian (September 20, 2012). "Alabama GOP chairman goes birther". Salon. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  6. Corsi, Dr. Jerome (2012-04-25). "FILM: PRESIDENT'S FATHER NOT BARACK OBAMA – 2 years of research, rare photos support compelling case". 
  7. Cashill, Jack (May 15, 2012). "Now about Obama's Teenage Years!". American Thinker. 
  8. Reilly, Ryan J. (May 16, 2012). "Batty ‘Birther’ Movie Divides Conspiracy Diehards". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  9. Carter, R.J. (June 6, 2012). "Joel Gilbert: Birthers Asking Wrong Question on Obama Parentage". The Trades. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  10. Radosh, Ron (July 29, 2011). "Michelle Goldberg’s Jewish Problem, and Ours". PJ Media. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  11. Julian Sancton (September 11, 2012). "'New York Post' Runs Boldest Anti-Obama Ad Yet". Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-10-04. 
  12. Gilbert, Joel (April 22, 2015). "Malik Obama interviewed by Director Joel Gilbert (Dreams from My Real Father)". YouTube. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  13. Kincaid, Cliff (May 4, 2015). "Dreams from Obama’s Different Fathers". Accuracy in Media. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  14. Billingsley, Lloyd (October 24, 2016). "Malik Obama is Voting for Trump". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 

External links