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Filmmaker Cautions: Donald Trump Is Nothing To Laugh About

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Filmmaker Cautions: Donald Trump Is Nothing To Laugh About

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Documentarian Anthony Baxter has some words of caution for voters inclined to treat Donald Trump like a big joke. Despite his bombastic, occasionally laughable persona, Trump is dangerous, Baxter said.

“The main thing,” Baxter said in a phone interview, is that even though he “provides fodder for late-night talk shows” with his “ludicrous statements,” he is not a laughing matter.

“He’s amusing and quite a ridiculous figure,” Baxter said, “but he can be quite a dangerous man, and it’s important for people to realize that.”

Baxter has devoted two films to Trump. The first, You’ve Been Trumped, documented The Donald’s building of a luxury golf course on an environmentally delicate stretch of Scottish coastline. The second, a sequel of sorts, titled A Dangerous Game, widens the scope to include golf course developments taking place all over the world, where local residents are similarly being harassed by developers, ignored by their local governments, and left to deal with the economic and environmental fallout. The new film will be released in the United States on Tuesday.

Golf, Baxter explains, was once a game for everyone: Courses were built in harmony with the natural landscape and the game was open to all walks of life. In the modern state of the sport, however, Baxter found a locus to examine a host of issues related to unchecked capitalism: rising income inequality, eminent domain abuse, and the plundering and poisoning of natural resources (especially water).

The scenario he documented in Scotland in the first film plays itself out in Croatia, Dubai, and China in A Dangerous Game: local governments in thrall to private developers build what are essentially playgrounds for the super-rich in environmentally fragile regions, against the wishes of local residents. As Baxter discovered, there are Donald Trumps all over the world.

When You’ve Been Trumped was first aired on BBC 2 in 2012, its depiction of local residents being bullied, by legal action and the threat of eminent domain, into selling their property to Trump’s organization prompted enormous backlash from viewers. (Baxter himself was arrested in the course of making the film.) It also galvanized Trump, who had previously spurned Baxter’s request for an interview, to sit down for a one-on-one meeting that forms the climax of the new film.

In the interview, he stands by his work, saying he hopes the documentary will include mention of the accolades his new course is receiving.

Regarding Trump’s risible, rambling speech announcing his candidacy, Baxter said what troubled him most was Trump’s assertion that he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

But as to Trump’s record on job creation, “the facts speak differently.” Despite his promises to invest heavily in Scotland’s infrastructure, and create 6,000 new jobs, according to Baxter, fewer than 200 were actually created.

“It’s dangerous to give him too much power,” Baxter said. “He makes promises and claims about jobs and investment that don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

“The facts speak for themselves,” he continued. “He does bad things.”

You can view a trailer for A Dangerous Game below. The film will be released in the United States on Tuesday, June 23, and is currently available on iTunes and at www.adangerousgamemovie.com.

Still via A Dangerous Game

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Sam Reisman

Sam Reisman is the former managing editor at The National Memo, where he still writes the weekly "This Week In Crazy" column. His writing has appeared in Flavorpill, The Huffington Post, Columbia Daily Spectator, and Bwog. He was the publisher of the 2010 edition of Inside New York, an annual guidebook to the city for students and young professionals.

Since 2011, he has co-curated and hosted Peculiar Streams, a showcase for NYC-based writers, musicians, comedians, and filmmakers. He is a staff writer at Mediaite, and blogs at SamReisman.com.

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7 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila June 23, 2015

    It is never a good idea to under estimate an opponent, but the truth is that at a national level Donald Trump is a joke. The albatross hanging around his neck goes well beyond bizarre statements, he personifies everything that is wrong with our society: arrogance, greed, materialism, intolerance, and lack of compassion. He is likely to appeal to a tiny minority of Americans, but most mainstream Americans see him as what he is: a joke when it comes to running for POTUS.
    Frankly, just imagining his portrait besides those of Lincoln, Adams, the Roosevelts, Eisenhower, Clinton, and Obama is enough to make the most indifferent voter feel sick.

    Reply
    1. The lucky one June 23, 2015

      Well it’s a heck of a stretch to include Clinton and Obama with the others you mention but I think your portrayal of Trump if anything maybe too kind. He is scum of the lowest order and a buffoon.

      Reply
      1. FireBaron June 23, 2015

        “Lucky”, think about this – that company also includes William Henry Harrison (all 41 days of his Presidency), his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, who blew a billion-dollar surplus, Herbert Hoover (enough said), and Richard Nixon. They all have their official Presidential portraits, as do both Bushes and Bill Clinton, as will President Obama.

        Reply
        1. The lucky one June 23, 2015

          Thanks for pointing that out. I really didn’t catch the reference to “pictures” the 1st time. My point was that Clinton & Obama don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Lincoln, Adams, the Roosevelts, Eisenhower.
          Yes there have been any number of incompetent and/or crooked presidents almost from the beginning since many of the founders were slave owners. Maybe Trump’s portrait would fit in to the presidential rogues gallery. His hairdo would certainly provide some comic relief.

          Reply
    2. Billie June 23, 2015

      He really hasn’t filed the necessary paper work to run for POTUS. Maybe he’s just pulling another show. Paying people to show at his announcement was really stupid.

      Reply
  2. 1standlastword June 23, 2015

    Donald Trump is quintessential modern America! Bred, grown and nourished by the system that has brought all our current ills to life. I think that is why he can have such remarkable confidence that he’s fit to lead

    Reply
    1. JustaSlob June 24, 2015

      I’ll take bets up to 100k ……….(LOOKING DIRECTLY AT Anthony Baxter) Trump will never be president. I have yet to receive a single taker.
      Knock Knock…. you there Anthony?? : )

      Reply

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