“You’ve Been Trumped Too” Gives Donald Trump The Middle Finger, Champions Free Speech
Anthony Baxter is a courageous filmmaker. In his previous documentary, the award-winning You’ve Been Trumped, he took on the world’s premier bully Donald Trump only to be bundled into a police car outside the billionaire’s luxury golf course in Scotland. The brass-balled journalist had been defending the rights of local homeowners who had witnessed their water supply cut off by the American business mogul’s construction contractors.
His follow-up, You’ve Been Trumped Too, was an attempt to continue the story. However, the feature documentary was forced to be shelved for years under a mountain of legal paperwork as the demagogic pseudo-Republican tried to hide it from public view. Emboldened by Michael Forbes’ rusting shed — its bank of overgrown weeds and weathered corrugated structure fittingly showing a lack of finesse — the locals rallied around to support the message scrawled on the side overlooking Trump’s manicured fairways and five-star clubhouse. “No golf course. No more Trump Lies” it reads in graffitied capital lettering; a semi-permanent middle-finger to Trump’s investment — a gift to his own ego.
In a sit-down interview with Trump early in the film, the billionaire disingenuously asks how things are in Scotland to which Baxter answers with a cut to Molly Forbes, a Balmedie resident badly affected by the golf course’s development, saying: “We’ve actually no water at all.” False promises to fix the broken water pipe — smashed by Trump’s construction crews when building an access road — have left people like 96-year-old Molly having to collect water from a nearby stream to wash herself with a jug over the kitchen sink.
You’ve Been Trumped Too reveals the continuing battle with the billionaire that has raged for several years and was first documented by filmmaker Anthony Baxter in 2011. His first film on the subject documented the luxury golf course’s development including threats upon Molly and her son Michael to sell their Aberdeenshire homes. Baxter sought to unveil the American’s unscrupulous business activities from the point of view of the locals, and the Scottish legal and governmental authorities.
His 2016 follow-up was intended to take the story further and be released in time for the US presidential election but it was thwarted by legal action from Trump’s attorneys. Unable to get the liability insurance required to release it (known in the industry as “errors and omissions”), its American distributor baulked and a prominent left-wing news network got cold feet about running a preview screening. With its US publicist walking away from the project too, and no money to advertise, even a free-view on Facebook received little attention.
But that’s all changed now. With the support of Journeyman Pictures and E&O insurance finally secured, You’ve Been Trumped Too can reach the audience it deserves with prominent distribution via major digital outlets including iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and Vimeo. Despite Trump’s derogatory tweets and attempts to discredit the journalist’s work, the legal framework by which he tried to hide behind has fallen limp. The film the US president didn’t want you to see is now unleashed.
Clearly, with the might of a billionaire like Donald Trump, having him as a nemesis is likely to give most people sleepless nights. But while praise must be given to the filmmakers and distributors in their efforts to champion free speech and stand up to powerful bullies, it’s nothing compared to the determination shown by Molly Forbes, her son and other residents of Balmedie. Baxter doesn’t hesitate to reveal Trump as the oppressive establishment figure that he clearly is. But like we’ve seen countless times in press conferences, political rallies, and on social media in the years before and since his presidency, his lack of compassion and firebrand soundbites have seen him walk his way wittingly into a role of self-styled agitator.
You’ve Been Trumped Too doesn’t lift the lid on the populist businessman-turned-politician’s intimidating sense of supremacy, rather it showcases the more subtle ways he’s oppressed people, puts a face to those whose lives have been negatively impacted by his free-wheeling elitism, and documents the lengths, both petty and pathetic, he’ll go to puff out his chest and wield his self-serving sense of superiority.
If any further proof were needed that Donald Trump cares little for anyone’s interests but his own, you need look no further than an irrepressible 90-year-old Scottish grandmother recalling having to bathe in filthy water because the American billionaire wouldn’t fix the pipe he was culpable of breaking.
You’ve Been Trumped Too may not ultimately have a huge effect on American politics, nor is its depiction of Trump particularly illuminating, but by illustrating those defying the recklessness of a billionaire, it’s a reassuring reminder of an indomitable human spirit awakened by the wielding of unjust power. And by its mere existence, which too has had to fight a similar battle, Baxter’s film gives a voice to the voiceless; expressing the free speech that, when it doesn’t serve his own purpose, Trump is forever determined to silence.