Following on from the original 2011 BBC documentary You’ve Been Trumped, Anthony Baxter’s sequel carries on his narrative on the struggles faced by some Scottish residents whose life has been turned into misery by US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Back then, Trump, who was depicted as a ruthless businessman, looked set to do whatever it took to get his way over the people of Scotland by building his luxury golf course with no regard for environmental or ethical issues.
Fast forward to 2016 and, against all odds, Mr. Trump could become the leader of the most powerful country in the world in just a few days. Baxter’s timely film aims to be a cautionary tale drawing parallels between what happened to the residents in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire with what potentially could happen to the American people.
The documentary centres around a stern 92-year-old Molly Forbes and her farmer son Michael’s lives, whose property overlooks Trump’s International Golf Links. Back in 2006, Trump purchased land in the area and tried everything his team could to intimidate and get the pair off their land, intimidations that made them even more determined to stay where they’ve lived all their lives.
Several years on from its original dispute, life for the two has been far from easy, as Molly and Michael have had to endure an existence without running water, since Trump’s construction builders broke a pump and severed a pipe that delivered water to their property.
Despite promises from the Trump team to fix the problem, five years on, nothing has been done. And what comes across as rather worrying, is how police and politicians appear to facilitate Trump’s bullish behaviour, enchanted by his promises of investments in the region and the empty promise of the creation of 6,000 local jobs (only 95 where actually created).
As the documentary takes a Michael Moore-esque turn, we see Baxter talking to ordinary Americans trying to turn them against Trump by sharing the Scottish story, while Michael Forbes flies over to the States with his wife Sheila and attend the Republican National Convention.
However noble You’ve Been Trumped Too’s cause is, the film repeats some of his crucial points over and over and, regardless of how unfair or how spectacularly scary and bullish tactics are used by some of Mr. Trump and his entourage, it doesn’t seem to deliver a great deal. With repetitions of points and campaign footage we are already familiar with, the documentary doesn’t do that much investigating.
However, threats the film-maker has been subjected to, makes it all the more worthwhile to watch, as Baxter explained that Trump’s legal team “issued a statement that threatened to sue anyone who repeats the allegations made in the film. They threatened to sue the people in the film. They threatened to sue me” – explains the filmmaker – “It’s all a bunch of threats that are part of the Trump bullying machine. The important thing is to stand up for what’s right and to believe that telling the truth is part of our job as filmmakers”.
I wouldn’t call You’ve Been Trumped Too an eye opener as much of what is portrayed is already public knowledge, but if you’re sitting on the fence on Donald Trump, it may still be worth a watch.
You’ve Been Trumped Too is released on demand on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Journeyman VOD and Vimeo from 18th August.
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