One Nation Under Trump
directed by Evan Trammel
starring Donald Trump
Spirit Collection, MVD Visuals
If ever I’ve had a time-critical review, this is it. This DVD dropped on my front porch the day after the third Presidential debate and it shows an August 14 release date. There’s no real press release, and both IMDB and the Internet show very little on it or any of the names on the DVD package. Clearly, it’s a quickie job. There are no credits and what we see is a collection of news clips and archival stills all tied together by a sparse, urgent male narration. IMDB shows a $25,000 budget; clearly every expense was pared to put together what is essentially a sales pitch for Trump’s campaign, shot when he was on a roll. Some speeches look as if they were shot on old school analog recorders, and cuts are just that: a scene ends, a new one begins. The only context offered is whatever text Fox or CNN provides. Often, his wife and daughters stand behind him as he speaks; it somehow makes him look like an old Robert Palmer video. True, at the beginning we hear a brief backstory about his military academy days and his first Broadway flop but beyond that, the narrator stays in the background, briefly summarizing the people shown on screen. But really, this is nothing but a collection of TV clips allowing Trump to say his piece and interrupt anyone who disagrees with him.
While listed as a documentary One Nation sounds more like a puff piece from a Trump apologist, and we hear nothing from his critics. It’s not much of a documentary; you really learn nothing about him that hasn’t been said, and there is no policy analysis beyond his loudly stated claims. The time period is compressed as well with most of the clips spanning the period from the primaries to the Republican convention. But if you love The Donald, this is a great summary of his speeches, apologies and histrionics. But if you wish a balanced outside analysis of his personal life, his campaign or his policies, this would not be a good starting point. And here’s a really weird little fact: the DVD title page spells out “One” as does the cover art shown on IMDB. But the review copy I received uses the digit “1” which puts him at the top of searches. Pretty tricky, eh? This guy really knows his cyber.