Film Review: You’ve Been Trumped

Jonathan Melville 17 October, 2012 1
Film Review: You’ve Been Trumped

Secret Government deals, the machinations of an American billionaire and the legalised destruction of land deemed of scientific interest are just some of the topics covered in Anthony Baxter’s startling documentary, You’ve Been Trumped.

Beginning with US tycoon Donald Trump’s controversial plans to build a new golf course on the East Coast of Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council’s refusal to permit them and an unprecedented overturning of the decision by the Scottish Government, the scene is set for years of lies, bullying and harassment by Trump and his staff against local residents.

Baxter captures many of these incidents on camera, getting arrested in the process, as Trump’s bulldozers illegally cut off water and electricity supplies to locals whose homes do no more than spoil the view from a nearby putting green.

With local police seemingly acting as security for Trump’s workers, the press happy to report on an employment boost which never materialises and scientists pouring scorn on claims that the result will be good for the environment, the gloom is only lifted by the personalities of the development’s victims. Characters such as Michael Forbes, described as “living in a pigsty” by Trump, try to put a brave face on events as their world comes under attack.

Baxter allows his subjects to speak for themselves without any visual gimmicks, bar the occasional clip from Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero (1983), a film with some uncanny resemblances to this real life David vs Goliath tale. Sadly, there’s no official input into the film by Trump himself or Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, who both refused to comment. This is particularly unfortunate in the case of Salmond, as the golf course is situated within his constituency.

The result is an emotive film which shows both what can happen when a Government considers money over its own laws and how those at the sharp end remain resilient throughout.

Visit the You’ve Been Trumped website for details of cinema screenings. The film airs on BBC Two on Sunday 21 October 2012 at 10pm.

Watch the trailer on YouTube