Film review: You've Been Trumped

SUFFERING FOOLS: Donald Trump is steely and imperturbable in every scene.
SUFFERING FOOLS: Donald Trump is steely and imperturbable in every scene.

You've Been Trumped (PG) 100 mins 

Donald Trump was never going to come off the good guy, but this humble documentary about his efforts to destroy the happy rural life of a remote Scottish community certainly reveals him as the barbarian who will ride roughshod over anyone who gets in his way.

The trouble starts in March 2006. Having decided to build a huge resort with a state-of-the-art golf course, a $300 million hotel and a village of holiday homes, Trump's project team embarks on drawing up the plans and negotiating with the relevant local bodies in Aberdeenshire. It's a billion-pound investment, and Trump will suffer neither fools nor obstacles.

Problem is, the locals themselves are neither consulted nor, as it turns out, respected, and understandable affront is caused when one man's home, which neighbours the development site, is set for demolition because "We don't want [the hotel] looking down into a slum". Trump, who prides himself on speaking honestly, later goes on television where he describes the owner, Michael Forbes, as living "like a pig". Clearly Trump, steely and imperturbable in every scene, hasn't got to where he is today by sugar-coating his feedback.

Comparatively mild-mannered British film-maker Anthony Baxter tells the community's story, capturing revealing footage of Trump and various minions behaving badly, while himself being subjected to bullying and outrageous (and incredibly distressing) harassment.

Photographed against stunning scenery and set to an emotive soundtrack, this David and Goliath tale is not all grim, however. The hikoi of support and a brilliant example of "art as activism" bring a heart-warming counterpoint to the darker side of human nature.

Sunday Star Times