Similarly to Michael Moore’s documentary pursuit to meet with GM chairman Roger Smith in Roger & Me, journalist-cum-filmmaker Anthony Baxter’s film is the David and Goliath tale of local Aberdonians barking out against a beautiful nature reserve being destroyed and turned into the world’s finest golf course. Who would do such a monstrous thing? Who else than Donald Trump.
The Trump Organisation’s chairman is something of a real-life pantomime villain. Straight-talking, smug faced and curiously coiffed, the real estate magnate is a surprisingly compelling screen presence that you can’t help but love to hate. Fortunately, we don’t get enough screen-time with the businessman to be convinced of his typically grandiose plans.
At risk is 1,400 acres of Aberdeenshire coastline. A legally protected ecosystem, Trump managed to acquire buying rights to the land back in 2005 by convincing the local council of his domineering presence’s tourism potential.
A political catastrophe, debut documentarian Baxter mixes stock footage of Trump on glitzy talkshows with clips from Bill Forsyth’s forgotten 1983 comedy Local Hero, in which local scots try and rally against American tycoon Burt Lancaster (with more successful results than his despondent doc subjects). But You’ve Been Trumped is at it’s most assertive when Baxter focuses his lens on a set of homey interviews with the shoreside residents who will be most affecting by Trump, led by the surprisingly upbeat provo fisherman Michael Forbes. His story and attachment to the ground he lives on has that whiff of Braveheart jingoism about it, which really sheds some personality into the picture.
Staid, polite and reserved, Baxter’s documentarian authority is terribly British. Even if he doesn’t shake up Trump like we all want him to, his rapport with the locals suggests an ethical investigative journalist of warmth.
Where are we now? Regardless of the protests and political campaigning – Trump gets what Trump wants. If you wanted to see this beautiful nature reserve today, it’s going to cost you a £200 round of golf. Far from a failure, You’ve Been Trumped pointed portrayal of capitalism, greed, bullying and conservationism is a universal one. It earns every one it’s four stars. See this film, support our shared environmental heritage and spread the word about Trump being an absolutely contemptible cunt.
For UK moviegoers, the film is available to watch for a limited time only on BBC iPlayer. You can follow the documentary’s director Anthony Baxter on Twitter and try and request a screening near you. Follow the viral campaign to stop the golf course developments at #Trumped