Veteran journalist Matt Frei, a man who’s tackled his share of big crazy US political stories, took on the craziest one yet in this documentary about the rise and rise of Donald Trump.
In a nutshell
Here’s the thing about Donald J. Trump. No one knows anything, at all. All the major pundits, all the battle-hardened political junkies and wonks and veteran hacks, misjudged Trump’s trajectory right from the start. He started off as the joke candidate, the comic relief to offer silly soundbites while the “proper candidates” like Marco Rubio went about the serious business of getting the votes in. And yet, cut to today, and we’ve got Trump standing tall, vanquishing his foes left and right, and baffling everybody.
So the problem with this film was that it could offer no real insights worth listening to. Yes, it was packed with juicy colourful footage from the campaign trail, and gave us a potted history of how The Donald became the unlikely frontrunner, despite near universal media contempt and even a ticking off from the Pope. But it also fell into the trap of trying to say anything whatsoever about the future of this election process. Because, to reiterate the point, no one knows anything. And that’s the scariest thing of all.
What's the verdict?
Whether Trump really has the universal appeal to win over the general electorate come November remains to be seen. In the meantime, prepare for plenty more programmes like this, all trying to make sense of events that make no sense. Who’d be a journalist, eh?
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