A Dangerous Game
- Eddie Harrison
- 18 June 2014
You've Been Trumped follow-up explores global perspective on corporate aggression, but pulls punches
Film-maker Anthony Baxter struck a chord worldwide with his documentary You've Been Trumped, in which he documented the bully-boy methods used by millionaire Donald Trump to stop Baxter from investigating his proposed plans for Scottish golf-courses. The obstacles encountered making of You've Been Trumped became a key element of the story, and A Dangerous Game attempts to raise the stakes by confronting Trump with evidence of the first film's success.
A Dangerous Game also revisits many of the local characters featured in the first film, including local man Michael Forbes, who won a Glenfiddich-sponsored award for his vociferous opposition to the millionaire. Baxter's film follows the tit-for-tat retaliation that follows, as Trump-influenced bars promptly dropped the brand of whisky, and a subsequent internet campaign follows that made drinking Glenfiddich into a popular anti-Trump gesture of defiance.
Such emotive stories justify the existence of this follow-up film, but Trump clearly didn't get to where he is without understanding how the PR game is played, and invites Baxter to an interview where he points out the issues associated with trial-by-television and lands a few blows of his own. Elsewhere, Baxter pulls together a global perspective, examining similar golf-course developments in Dubrovnic, but despite uncovering new material, falls short of making a substantially different or evolved argument from the first film.
The delaying of A Dangerous Game's release until after the Scottish referendum suggests cold feet on the part of Baxter’s funders; there’s a significant message in Baxter’s film, but for that message to be shelved until a more politically expedient time smacks of dodging the debate. Like You've Been Trumped, A Dangerous Game aspires to and achieves a universal significance, both in terms of environmental issues and the individual vs the state; it's a pity that the punches seem to have been slightly pulled in this update.