You’ve Been Trumped: Sunday 21st October, BBC 2, 10pm
Fortunately this isn’t a film about the next âplankingâ? or yet another YouTube friendly cultural meme. Instead, it is an investigative look at the the means to which Donald Trump resorts, as he tries to build what he claims will be âthe greatest golf course in the world.â?
The Donald’s hair is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Ai Weiwei’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium in Beijing. Whilst Trump himself is known as a property speculator, a Darwinian human resources director, and as a symbol of the kind of marauding capitalism that inspired the Occupy protests. A desire to fuse these identities seems to have prompted him to attempt to build a golf course on a site of Special Scientific Interest next to the North Sea in Aberdeenshire.
He is likeable in a way that is only possible if your perception of him comes solely from sound-bites, and inaccurate associations with the Werther’s Original grandfather; in one instance, Trump International workers use tactics reminiscent of the West Bank to cut off geographically inconvenient locals from their water supply as part of ongoing efforts to displace them.
As entertainment, Trump is compelling: to be that insufferable, for that long, to that many people and for it to have made you both wealthy and famous and yet feel so empowered by your own behaviour that it somehow makes you an even less likeable person is remarkable. It’s that kind of unshakeably self-confident sociopathy that makes for a really compelling TV villain. He doesnât have enough depth for the silver screen, but for the purposes of this documentary, he is excellent. Its just a shame that the Scottish ensemble cast are given English translated subtitles – somewhat diminishing their message.
With a large majority of the United Kingdom now totally unconnected with rural life, documentaries such as this are becoming more and more frequently the only way to depict the threats posed to our remaining environmental heritage and how little is often done to halt it. Director Anthony Baxter is unashamedly one-sided in his portrayal of the billionaire’s plan as an environmentally sanitised attempt to cash in on Scotland’s golfing heritage, without any sympathy for the landscape or people that birthed the sport. At a time when there are a surplus of tales to be told bemoaning the character and conduct of Masters of the Universe, this story is very capable addition to the canon.