Our regular critic. Journalist, writer, author. Works mostly from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
TRUMP: Anthony Baxter's film, delayed by years of legal action, finally secures a timely digital release as Donald Trump's bid for re-election looks increasingly shaky.

If you check IMBD, Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped Too throws up a couple of curious figures – it was released in 2016 and the global box office is a paltry $6,615. To use a typical expression of the film’s noxious subject, it looks like a film made by a total loser. But for Baxter, who first crossed paths with Donald Trump in his 2011 film You’ve Been Trumped about the Tump organisation’s clash with Scottish locals over plans to build a golf course on the Aberdeenshire coast, this sequel looks like a winner.

Seen briefly at a few festivals before a flurry of legal letters and threats issued by Trump stopped it in its tracks, You’ve Been Trumped Too is being released across a raft of digital platforms August 18, just 12 weeks before the US presidential election November 3.

Devil in the details

Filmed in the year or so before Trump’s 2016 presidential «win» (like so many things to do with Trump, the devil is in the detail – the truth is that he lost the popular vote but was elected due to the arcane rules of the US Electoral College) the film pivots around the petty, personal battle Trump and his nasty (a favourite Trump word) organisation wage for years on a 92-year-old Scottish grandmother and her son who happen to live on a small farm close to the golf course he built. He considers the farm an eyesore, lies about secretly plotting to pressure Scottish authorities into permitting its compulsory purchase, and lies about damaging a water supply to the farm from a spring on the Trump property, that legally it is obliged to maintain.

Baxter is tenacious in attempting to interview Trump, although the only clip we see here is used to establish the now well known Trumpian feature of petty self-obsession, but there is more from Trump’s odious and slick son Don Junior, who is often at the Scottish golf course in his capacity as a Trump International Executive VP.

Pitched as a David and Goliath story of the friction between Molly Forbes and her son Michael and others living near the golf course and «the Donald» himself, Baxter is skillful both in his exposé of Trump’s lies and the juxtaposition of the dignity of Molly and her truths versus his obscene narcissism and lies. Her courage and eloquence easily outshine his cowardice and drivel.

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You’ve Been Trumped Too, a film by Anthony Baxter

Agreements

There are some great little facts that deserve wider publicity – such as the reason why one local newspaper consistently provides glowing coverage of all things Trump: the editor just happens to be engaged to the glamorous local Trump executive. (Why Trump still seems able to attract apparently intelligent, beautiful women into his circle is among the facts that still bewilders.) And then there’s the fact that Donny (Trump Jnr) once told Michael that he could have the golf course if he could ever get a rusty old tractor sitting beside a ramshackle shed going again. In Scottish law fulfilling a verbal contract is legally enforceable. Michael restores the tractor to working order, ergo Trump owes Michael the golf course. Would that such a world truly existed.

the juxtaposition of the dignity of Molly and her truths versus his obscene narcissism and lies. Her courage and eloquence easily outshine his cowardice and drivel.

It is easy to see why Trump hates this film: it shows him and the world (as if we need more evidence after four years of the creature in the White House) what an ugly, inadequate, and essentially pathetic man he is. And it is a credit to Baxter and his team that they fought on and – like the people of Flint, Michigan that also have their own issues with Trump – took the bully on.

There is a great sense of achievement when, after suffering for five years with a dirty and intermittent water supply, Michael finally takes matters into his own hands and digs up the road where the spring supply pipe was damaged, literally exposing Trump’s claims to have repaired the damage, and re-establishes a clean supply.

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You’ve Been Trumped Too, a film by Anthony Baxter

Questions unanswered

The one question that the film really leaves unanswered is why the Scottish authorities have been so weak in their acquiescence (even facilitation) of Trump and utter lack of support for the legal rights of their own people. Trump may have been facilitated by Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP (Scottish National Party), who apparently believed blithe promises of 6,000 jobs the golf course would bring (it created 95), but one would hope that the more redoubtable current Scottish parliament First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, would take a harder line and certainly ensure the law was fairly applied and that the Scottish police were not used to protect Trump’s interests in the frankly disgusting way they are seen to in this film.

You’ve Been Trumped Too is on demand via iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, Journeyman VOD and Vimeo from 18th August