You've Been Trumped
- Running Length:1hr 40mins
- Cast:Michael Forbes, Donald Trump
- Rated:PG - Contains low level violence
As if you needed another reason to dislike Donald Trump… Well, here it is. A David and Goliath story about what happened to a group of Scottish homeowners who tried to stand up to the American property tycoon.
The film sets up its standpoint early on through clever usage of clips from Bill Forsythe’s 1983 film Local Hero. In that film Scottish residents manage to stop an American billionaire from buying up the coastline. Unfortunately things rarely work out so well in real life.
The land in question here is in Aberdeenshire, a vast expanse of sand dunes and open land bordering the sea. Trump’s proposed golf course and resort will utterly demolish the landscape and destroy the area’s unique and fragile eco-system. It will also uproot the people who live there, some of whom have been there all their lives.
Baxter represents the residents, many of whom face Compulsory Purchase Orders for their homes. Protests to local councils and police prove fruitless. Trump’s promises of jobs and a boost to local tourism appear to have more value than the tax payers whose homes are at risk. Trump eventually backs down on the CPOs, but his organization finds other ways to threaten the recalcitrant homeowners. He ‘accidentally’ has the water cut off to one home, and charges ridiculous fees for fence posts residents removed from their own land. As a final threat, great piles of earth are bulldozed around some properties to hide them from view.
When Trump’s people discover Baxter and the fact he’s given several residents cameras with which to record the daily destruction, they pull out their big guns. Baxter is arrested for daring to talk to a contractor about the water issue. When he attempts to get a statement from Trump himself, he is summarily dismissed.
While the film focuses primarily on the human face of this travesty, it is impossible to ignore the environmental devastation. We see copses bulldozed and buried in a pit and sand dunes demolished while all the time Trump is claiming that the environmental impact of his work is negligible.
This is an important and horrifying documentary. It will leave you furious. I was also very disturbed at how little power everyday people have when faced with someone with both the money and the influence to squash them like ants. If you didn’t hate Trump before seeing this film, you will by its end.