You've Been Trumped is a brilliant film that on Friday deservedly won the audience award at the Take One Action Film Festival. It's a film I had hoped to see earlier in the year, but better late than never, I saw it today and here's what I thought.
You've Been Trumped is a documentary film about Donald Trump's project to build 'the world's best golf course' on an area of rare sand-dunes which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Aberdeenshire. It's a very well made documentary that is at once heartbreaking, inspiring and entertaining. There is beautiful footage of the dune system as it used to be, a vibrant, beautiful areaof wilderness that not only was wonderful for wildlife (hence the SSSI designation, which issuppposed to offer protection against development) but also was a popular place for local people to walk. The film also shows the bulldozers ploughing roughshod over the land, destroying the ecosystem, which can never be restored, due to its uniquely fragile nature. The resulting golf course is one that local people are unlikely to be able to afford to play on, even if they were to want to. (Interestingly, some American golfers who were interviewed in this film as they played on the golf course at St Andrews said that they would not be interested in playing on Trump's course, and they are the target audience).
The film focusses on how local people are being affected by the development - the construction has caused locals to lose their water supply for weeks, has demanded that they pay for fencing and has built sandbanks round their houses to hide them from view of the rich Americans who will be playing on the golf course. A number of local families had been threatened with compulsory purchase orders on their homes, though Trump did back down on this after a demonstration.
The local police are shown to very definitely be on the side of Trump, they harrassed and arrested the film makers and took the side of Trump in every conflict with the local people.
The film also shows some of the positives that rose out of the whole debacle including some excellent arts projects, including these photos by Alicia Bruce.
I've followed the development of this golf course over the years (this link takes you to all the posts I've written that mention the subject). I am still shocked as to how a Scottish Government that claims to support local democracy, be concerned for the environment and be working for an independent Scotland can overturn local decisions (the Aberdeenshire council originally refused planning permission for the course) and basically sell Scotland's natural assets to the highest bidder to create a golf course (as if Scotland doesn't have enough of those already) that will be marketed to rich foreigners.
Rachel Fox wrote a really good review of You've been Trumped on her blog here.
The You've Been Trumped website is here and their facebook page is here.
The Tripping up Trump campaign has a website here.
Some cinemas have refused to screen this film, claiming lack of audience interest (Trump has been putting out propoganda saying the film isn't worth seeing and there's no audience for it). If your local cinema claims that there is no interest in seeing You've Been Trumped, prove them wrong and ask them to screen it.
As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks which take you to other websites where you can find out more.