You’ve Been Trumped (2011)

19 Oct

Contrary to my initial thoughts, Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped is an insightful and moving investigation into Donald Trump’s infamous plan to build a golf resort in the middle of Scotland’s last untouched coastal wilderness.

The documentary, shot entirely on location in Aberdeenshire by the freelance filmmaker, is quick to take sides as expected, but thanks to a clever melange of charmingly rustic village life out-takes and compromising behind-the-scenes footage of Trump, the audience quickly closes ranks with village hero Michael Forbes and other local residents, whose homes are under imminent threat from Trump’s Compulsory Purchase scheme.

Tension mounts as what began as a relatively simple land dispute dissolves into an absurd bureaucratic war. Scottish environmental laws are turned on their heads to satisfy the country’s new, powerful customer, and eventually Baxter himself is arrested for his coverage of the events.

You’ve Been Trumped is stylistically simple; hand-held filming is
thrown together with breath-taking footage of the vast beaches and rolling dunes,interspersed with interviews of instrumental figures such as Michael Forbes, his mother Molly, and anti-Trump campaigners like Mickey Foote. The undeniable beauty of the countryside takes a back seat in the film however,as  it Baxter’s underlying message, that lends the film its true power. Though this David and Goliath story is well-worn, the telling is fresh, determined, and so effective in its portrayal of the blatant injustices inflicted on the locals that it
elicited more than one scoff of disbelief from the audience.

By turns the film is light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek and deadly serious. You’ve Been Trumped is an excellent effort on the part of Anthony Baxter; don’t dismiss the age-old tale of amiable villagers up against a wealthy tycoon as cliché, You’ve Been Trumped is definitely worth watching.

 

By Nastassja Sheppard-Larsen

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