Movie Review: Michael Moore in Trumpland
By Matthew Huntley
October 27, 2016
Perhaps the information Moore brings to the table isn't anything new, or perhaps you don't believe what he says anyway. Regardless, he uses his short time wisely and makes it clear why Clinton should be president and not Donald Trump, so nobody can't say he doesn't make a sound, intelligent argument. One of Moore's methods for doing so is by illustrating just how ludicrous some of Trump's proposals would be should they ever be realized. For instance, Moore playfully segregates members of his audience by ethnicity, with the Mexicans barricaded behind a wall and Muslims shoved into a corner, over which a drone flies to constantly monitor them. If Moore's send-ups of Trump's ideas for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, or disallowing Muslims from entering the country just because of their religious affiliation seem ridiculous in a theater, it should stand to reason the real plans are and would be even more ridiculous, dangerous and expensive.
Of course, the movie isn't without other “Moore-isms,” including a flagrant parody of inauguration day if Trump was elected president, complete with a bad vocal impression of Trump himself. Honestly, the film could have done without these and instead presented the before-and-after footage (which Moore says exists) of the audience members who went into the show unsure of who to vote for and see whether or not Moore persuaded or dissuaded them to become a Hillary supporter. That would have been more interesting to watch.
Nevertheless, the film is effective just for the way Moore speaks candidly about Hillary's strong points as well as her flaws. We can sense the fear in his voice if she doesn't win, but if she does and she hasn't fulfilled her promises during her first four years, Moore vows to run for president in 2020. (Is it wrong, then, that I hope an elected Hillary doesn't come through with what she says?)
It's not my job to tell you who to vote for on November 8th; my duty is to either recommend or not recommend a movie based on how effective and entertaining I think it is and whether I think you'd be better off for seeing it. Despite Michael Moore in Trumpland being so political, and regardless of my support of Moore, I genuinely believe it'd be wise for all viewers to see it, not only for the potentially new information Moore reveals, but because his “performance” generates real pathos. It may surprise you to learn that this isn't an hour and 15-minute rant against Donald Trump, but more a love letter to Hillary Clinton and, in turn, our country. Moore creates a biased environment, yes, but it 's a welcoming one, which is why I think Trump supporters will be able to “stomach” it.
So now it's the other side's turn. There's still two weeks left until election day, and if Michael Moore can shoot, edit and distribute this film is as much time, surely members of Team Trump can do the same, but with their own arguments. I would gladly see it in order to hear them plead their case. I just hope whoever puts on a show in “Clintonland,” he or she would be just as intelligent, sincere and neighborly as Moore.