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REVIEW: 'You've Been Trumped'

REVIEW: 'You've Been Trumped'

REVIEW: 'You've Been Trumped', Flicks.co.nz

3 stars

Documentary uncovering the David and Goliath battle between a band of proud Scottish homeowners and celebrity tycoon Donald Trump, who wants to build golf courses on their rare stretch of British wilderness. In cinemas December 6th.

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It’s not hard to vilify Donald Trump. It’s a feat easily achieved by exposing moments of his wealth-infused arrogance and complementing them with the odd close-up of his seemingly soulless pupils. You’ve Been Trumped jumps all over this opportunity, though it never forgets its key objective (even if it is edited like an episode of America’s Most Wanted).

Backed by the Scottish government, Trump attempts to build a potentially profitable golfing resort over environmentally-sensitive stretches of coast, a unique landscape cemented in the town’s history. Thus, the townsfolk-turned-environmentalists rally with farmer/fisherman Michael Forbes, a lifelong resident who refuses to sell his land to the tycoon.

So begins the battle of perspectives: the locals value their wilderness as ‘Amazonian’ while Trump sees it as ‘swamplands’, their farms and homes are ‘slums’, their local hero Forbes is ‘the village idiot’.

Not intent on completely playing off Trump’s ‘rich douchewad’ stigma, the filmmakers effectively convince you of the deceptive beauty in the naturally-formed lands. It’s hard not to feel that Inside Job anger hearing Trump’s deliberately tainted and agenda-fuelled viewpoint on the environment he wishes to roll over. Seeing the flatten remains of the once-preserved sand dunes is akin to seeing a field full of dead tree stumps and billboards for The Apprentice.

Without the aid of a narrator, You’ve Been Trumped places its audience in the witness chair. It’s this raw technique that has you feeling the townsfolk’s pride, determination and helplessness. Going into this film guarantees one thing: you will be provoked.

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