Films: You've Been Trumped

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You've Been Trumped

You've Been Trumped

United Kingdom, 2011, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Environmental
Programs: Documentary Films, Environment in Focus
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Anthony Baxter
Producer: Richard Phinney
Editor: William Rice
Cinematographer: Anthony Baxter
Principal Cast: 

When business tycoon Donald Trump decides to build a luxury golf resort on the pristine coast north of Aberdeen, Scotland, local residents rise up in protest. You’ve Been Trumped exposes its ironic namesake’s blatant disregard for the Scottish people and their environmental concerns, as he flies in and out of Aberdeenshire in his corporate jet to promote the mega-resort. The local city council denies approval of his plans—which include 1500 houses, a 450-room hotel, and two golf courses to the tune of 1 billion pounds—but he ramrods Scottish government officials into going ahead with what he claims will be in “their best national interest.” Environmental groups insist the project will irreparably damage the surrounding wetlands and coastal dunes, not to mention end important scientific climate-change studies of the area, but Trump nonetheless claims he has their full support.

Footage of the 1986 British independent film Local Hero, filmed just a few miles away, depicts would-be developers who see the errors of their ways. Trump does not. He calls the local landowners’ homes “slums” and threatens to seize their land. The heroes of this documentary are the farmers and fisherman who fight back. Michael Forbes, who has lived and worked his land here for 43 years, leads the protest with his neighbors’ blessing. Trump retaliates by cutting power lines, damaging water wells, building berms, and having director Anthony Baxter jailed simply for conducting interviews.

Banned from recording on site, the documentarian—who received financing from donors in 20 different countries—gave one of the local women a camera to chronicle the destruction from her home; the devastating results are interwoven with priceless archival footage. Repeated attempts to interview Trump himself, however, are thwarted.
—JOEY PORCELLI

Sponsored by Consulate General of Canada in Denver, Queen Anne Urban Bed and Breakfast


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