We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
When purchased in 2007 by Trump, the land was a conservation area, with sand dunes 4,000 years old and a mixture of ocean-shore environments. "We've had tremendous support from the environmentalists," Trump says to a TV interviewer, which is a bald-faced lie. We see spokesmen for U.K. environmental organizations who are bitterly opposed, and indeed his building permit was turned down by the local council before being restored by the Scottish Parliament on the grounds that it would bring jobs to the sparsely populated area.
But that isn't what's most fascinating about Anthony Baxter's one-man indie documentary. It's Donald Trump's almost joyous rudeness. The Donald loves playing a bad guy. One of his targets in the project are a few small farm homes that he fears would "spoil the view" of his luxury hotel guests. Having stayed at hotels in the area, I found the sight of farms added to my pleasure.
But listen to Trump describe Michael Forbes, a man who has refused to sell his strategically located land to the robber baron: "The man lives in a pig sty. He lives in garbage. He's a pig." Say what? Has Trump ever visited the Forbes farm or been inside his home? Not bloody likely. What we see is a farm, with machinery, outbuildings, chickens, ponies and no pigs. I imagine Trump's idea of beauty is the antiseptic tackiness of the tinfoil towers he erects around the world.
Trump's operation moves with cruel efficiency. Tons of sand are bulldozed from a virgin beach and piled up to create a small mountain blocking Forbes' view. His water and electricity are cut off, and when he visits the Trump site office, he is dismissed curtly. ("Is that an expensive camera?" Trump's man asks the director Baxter.) The local police later arrest Baxter and hold him in jail for four hours, on general principles. From what we see, they were unprovoked.