VOD film review: You’ve Been Trumped Too
Justice against Trump4
Mike Williams | On 19, Aug 2020
Director: Anthony Baxter
Cast: Donald Trump
Watch You’ve Been Trumped Too online in the UK: Apple TV (iTunes) / Vimeo On Demand
Director Anthony Baxter’s been to hell and back just to get his latest feature, a sequel to the explosive 2011 You’ve Been Trumped, made. The documentary uncovered the billionaire bully tactics of business tycoon Donald J Trump, rolling into town (in this case Aberdeenshire, Scotland) and building a luxury golf course. Half a decade later – after the lies, threats, intimidation, and decimation of what locals described as their Amazon rainforest – Baxter returned with a follow-up intended to be released prior to the 2016 US election to expose then-candidate Trump for his mobster-like behaviour.
However, the filmmaker quickly discovered that making and releasing it would be much easier said than done, after local police were deemed to have sided with the Trump Organisation (even serving them at one point in the director’s arrest, it appeared) and saw Donald’s team threaten legal action against any cinema or broadcaster that screened it or anyone who dared repeat what had happened to a then 92-year-old Molly Forbes.
Since one airing back in 2016 the film has been in limbo, but now all legal woes are over. With Baxter having won, thus begins his story chronicling the bitter feud between the elderly widow who had her water cut off and the narcissist who couldn’t be bothered to get it running again.
We open to learn Molly’s still without water, after workers accidentally destroyed the supply pipes to her and her son Michael’s homes. The narrative paints the Trump Organisation in a negative light from the start – and, frankly, can you blame it? The conflict not only stems from a refusal to fix the vital piping, but from the continued threats and intimidation that surface the second anyone seeks to investigate the construction of a new golf course and how Scottish police seem to be under the influence of the American enterprise.
As we are warmly welcomed into Molly’s quaint yet downtrodden home, it’s hard not to look upon the perpetrators as callous monsters. With short snippets of Trump himself (in both interview format and during some revealing behind-the-scenes moments) rife for soundbites, we’re rarely given proper access to the family that are now ruling the White House. Indeed, even son Don Jr pops up to act as a wannabe enforcer of the project, in a typically outrageous “we’re the good guys just trying to do what’s best for everyone” form of gaslighting, which, as is evident from the footage, is simply not the case.
The two urgencies at play are getting Molly’s water back on and seeing some form of justice served to the brash bullies that have caused not only irreparable damage to locally protected landscapes but precisely how Trump and his cronies were able to throw their weight around to crush a local community and area of natural, protected beauty. We see a shift from Scotland, as Molly’s son Michael is whisked off to America to soak up the first of Trump’s now-infamous campaign rallies, and gets to speak to a lot of people, both for and against him, as Molly’s story trickles through various sections of Americana. Sadly, this part spirals off into something we’ve seen plenty of times from various news and outlets and doesn’t execute its vox pops with much conviction. Unlike the solid opening, it feels a bit thrown together and offers little in substance other than Michael retelling his tale to various aghast locals.
It’s no surprise that Donald Trump comes across as a heartless, power-hungry businessman happy to upset and displace people to get what he wants. What is particularly concerning is how he’d apparently force a woman in her 90s to traipse outside for a bucket of water so she can flush her toilet. The doc itself also falls short, despite its Kickstarter surpassing its $75,000 target, trailing off from the harder-hitting investigative journalism we’re promised in favour of buying into the election media circus. Despite this half-baked conclusion and loss of focus, You’ve Been Trumped Too is still a worthwhile and shocking expose on how the President of the United States conducts his business.