Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blustery, bellicose Trump study in big-money bullying

  • Print

YOU'VE Been Trumped sounds like a setup, a well-meaning contrivance with a preordained conclusion. It could have turned out that way, but the reality of this surprising -- and surprisingly disturbing -- documentary is much more eye-opening than that.

You've Been Trumped lives up to both interpretations of its title. It involves not only being bested, but being bested by the blustery Donald Trump, the shameless self-aggrandizer and real estate accumulator whose forays into northeast Scotland are the focus of the efforts of director, co-writer and cinematographer Anthony Baxter.

It was to Aberdeenshire, to be specific, that the Donald decamped in 2006. He purchased the 1,400-acre Menie Estate and announced that he would build "the greatest golf course anywhere in the world" on the site, not to mention a 450-room hotel and 1,500 luxury homes.

As was to be expected, not all local residents were delighted by this gargantuan alien invasion.

The most expected, but still entertaining, aspect of You've Been Trumped is the contrast between Trump, who emerges like a Mafia don from his private jet, flashing his trademark golden hair with tie to match, and the decidedly more humble and eccentric inhabitants who live on lots adjacent to the golf course and would really rather not move.

These include 88-year-old Molly Forbes, who proudly points out her father, a local ploughing champion, in old newsreel footage; Molly's cantankerous son Michael, and Mickey Foote, a returning native who produced the first Clash album.

Trump, who has never been accused of shyness, is particularly vocal in his contempt for these folks, and the thought that his future customers may catch a glimpse of Michael Forbes' house makes him apoplectic.

"For people to have to look at this virtual slum is a disgrace," he tells a TV interviewer. "I happen to be a very truthful person, and he lives like a pig."

The intercutting of the Donald's hyperventilating with the quaint lives of the locals is no less valid for being expected, but You've Been Trumped is about much more than a nostalgic wish that change could be stayed and ye olden times preserved forever.

For what does not seem at all like business as usual is the astonishing lengths Trump's allies go to make sure that his will is obeyed down to the smallest detail. You've Been Trumped is a potent study of the intimidating power of money not in theory but on the ground, an examination of how a wealthy man with a boundless sense of entitlement can strong-arm all opposition without really breaking a sweat.

Trump power was first evident after the Aberdeenshire Council, led by politician Martin Ford, initially rejected the development. In an unprecedented step, the Scottish national government, led by First Minister Alex Salmond, overturned that decision, took it out of local hands, and gave the project the go-ahead.

And though Trump liked to proclaim that his golf course was the best thing for the environment, that turned out to be untrue. In fact, as numerous scientists testify, the course would basically destroy an officially designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, the only natural dunescape left in Scotland.Things get more personal, and more distressing, once actual construction begins. We see how powerless the local people are as Trump's forces cavalierly destroy wells, cut off power and, in one case, out of pure Trump spite construct a nine-metre-high earthen berm that towers over one poor man's house.

Anyone thinking of complaining to the police is witness to, as Baxter's indefatigable camera records, the ways in which the local constabulary are very much on the side of the rich and powerful. Even Baxter himself gets arrested at one point for doing no more than conducting an interview. To see the glib and brazen way Trump habitually confuses bullying with honesty makes for a shameful situation all around.

-- Los Angeles Times

Movie review

You've Been Trumped

Directed by Anthony Baxter

Cinematheque

G

100 minutes

Four stars out of five

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 4, 2013 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Museum will create a conversation: Stuart Murray

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think food-security issues are an important topic to address during this mayoral campaign?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google