YOU'VE BEEN TRUMPED (Anthony Baxter). 96 minutes. Opens Friday (October 26) at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. See listing. Rating: NN
Anthony Baxter is nothing if not persistent. The British broadcaster's debut documentary, which chronicles the struggle of a handful of locals to prevent Donald Trump from constructing a billion-dollar golf resort on Scotland's pristine northeastern coast, proves that Baxter made at least enough of a nuisance of himself to get arrested for disturbing the peace.
But persistence alone can't turn You've Been Trumped into a satisfying exposé of corporate bullying, or even a coherent polemic. The film brims with bluster and sentiment - often shamelessly accompanied by Sigur Rós's sweeping, ethereal anthems - but lacks a diligent, fact-based exploration of the economic, legal or environmental arguments.
Part of the problem is that Trump is simply too easy to render the villain. He flagrantly bullshits the media about his supposed environmental accomplishments and repeatedly insults a working-class property owner unwilling to accept a buyout. Showing someone being as asshole is not the same as conducting an investigation.
This story of Aberdeen country folk resisting the ugly American tycoon has an uncanny fictional counterpart in Bill Forsyth's wonderful 1983 comedy, Local Hero. Baxter weaves numerous scenes from Local Hero into You've Been Trumped, but the comparison only serves to emphasize his own film's deficiencies.