Review: “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” (2016)

“Michael Moore in TrumpLand” (2016)


Documentary Stand-Up

Running Time: 73 minutes

Featuring: Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump

Michael Moore: “Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said, ‘If you close these factories as you’re planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I’m going to put a 35 percent tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody’s going to buy them’.”

“It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – the ‘Brexit’ states.”

You have to read the title of this new ‘documentary’ from Michael Moore very carefully as it refers to his visit to Ohio for one of his stand-up shows, a Trump stronghold where he attempts to dissuade people from voting Trump, and instead vote Clinton. So this is actually more a Clinton than a Trump film for most of its 73 minute running time.

While this is indeed a very tame performance, and has some pre-recordered parts (which sometimes work) it works towards highlighting the strengths of Hillary Clinton, while appealing to peoples better natures about the past thirty years of Clintons achievements. Sometimes it can come across a little self-serving but for most of the show it is good fun, if a little toothless in terms of Trumps deficiencies. We learn that Clinton is a champion of the people and wanted to bring in universal healthcare in the 1990s but was derailed by the media – this is not easily answered but he does try and guilt trip the audience.

I find as a New Zealander powerless at what is going on in the US Election, but the coverage of it is amazing from the Left and the Right – and don’t get me wrong, this is a very much a left leaning show. It does have a few poignant parts which I will not give away and even some comments from Trump (from a Michael Moore TV show) which may be surprising even if the are from the 1990s.

This special was filmed before a majority of the scandals hit both candidates, and is probably the better for it, but it may date it a little, especially with the election a week away but it does illustrate dividing lines in the US electorate.

I would recommend this special but don’t expect any real surprises or a real attack on Trump. If it had some real bite on both candidates it may have been a little useful, especially as the revelation that Moore has never voted Clinton. No matter what happens in this election there are many people that are going to have to swallow a bitter pill.

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