Michael Moore in TrumpLand

As divisive as he is, Michael Moore has struck a chord with audiences.  His recent ideas about how satire will lead to Donald J. Trump’s demise in this year’s controversial presidential race are used as an outline to preach in his latest film Michael Moore in TrumpLand, a doc made in secrecy that features the Michigan native addressing a crowd of voters in Wilmington, Ohio.

Michael Moore in TrumpLand is more of a concert film than a documentary though. It features Moore headlining his own one-man show as he discusses Trump and Hilary Clinton’s election strategies as well as the current power shift in genders within our society.  While obviously favouring Clinton, the documentarian’s opinions don’t carry much of a bias since Moore wants to see eye-to-eye with republicans and empathize with their feelings of anger and unimportance.  Both presidential candidates are viewed fairly, allowing the film to be open to a variety of US voters.

Of course, Michael Moore brings his brand of gimmicky humour to his latest film, but it’s only to literally depict Trump’s outrageous promises to right-wing viewers (Mexican audience members are segregated to their own wing and surrounded by a flimsy brick wall, Muslims sitting in the balcony are monitored by a drone).  These visual jokes are glaring distractions in a film that’s much more subdued, but the gags are funny and succeed in getting Moore’s point across.

The gradual progress we see in Moore’s thoughtful TrumpLand doesn’t feel like its been helped by tricky, manipulative edits.  It’s wonderful and encouraging to watch people listen intently, intelligently weigh arguments, and redesign their electoral decision.  This approach is much more effective and truthful than going down the reenactment route as Dinesh D’Souza’s shoddy counter piece Hillary’s America did.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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