Screengrabs from trumpgolfscotland.com
Apart from being a reality show host and a possible wanna be president Donald Trump is a property developer presently embroiled in a highly controversial scheme to build "the world's greatest golf course" (as if Scotland doesn't have enough already!) in a very beautiful and wild setting with a backdrop of breathtakingly unspoiled and environmentally protected sand-dunes which according to scientists provides shelter for unique plants and wild-life on the east coast of Scotland.
The development of the main golf course, which has been rapid and is expected to be completed sometime in 2012, has met with resistance from some deeply rooted locals who are not only concerned with the possibility of losing their homes but also with the very real fact that the surrounding and outstanding environment where they live is being sacrificed for no real economic gain to the area. The original plan also consisted of an eight storey five-star hotel, a golf academy, nearly 1000 holiday homes and 500 luxury private homes. It should be noted that this part of the development (the one which was touted as providing the most economic benefit to the area) has been stopped according to the Trump organisation because of the present economic downturn. The irony of course is that the Scottish Government initially over-ruled a Local Government decision to turn down Trump's development because it was perceived that the development would be good for the economy during a time of economic uncertainty.
One Scotsman concerned that the media was not giving an accurate telling of Trump's project is Anthony Baxter from Montrose who decided that the only way to relate the whole story was to make his own feature documentary outlining the reality of the development and its consequences for locals and the environment.
One part of the film shows Trump, who is himself FILTHY RICH, in an interview denigrating one of the people who objects to the project by saying that he lives like a "pig" in a "slum". The documentary also includes a scene in which Baxter and his producer, Richard Phinney, are arrested supposedly for breaching the peace after they questioned one of Trump's workers. The charges were eventually dropped and both men recently received an apology from Grampian police.
Despite Trump's claim that the film is "a failure" and Baxter "a fraud" so far it has won five major awards, including topping the list of 59 of the year's very best documentaries from around the world at the 34th Starz Denver Film Festival. Other awards include the Special Jury Prize at Michael Moore's City Film Festival and the Green Award at the Sheffield International Film Festival.
Across the world many people are questioning the power of those with money and the influence they have over the ways in which we live our lives. Anthony Baxter reminds us that "money and power shouldn't cost us the earth". If you get the chance please go to see this documentary which reveals Trump at his arrogant best (or worst depending on your point of view) and the plight of the locals who have been intimidated on a daily basis by Trump's own security teams backed up by the local Grampian police force. It is a must see and I am sure it will win many more awards.
Here is video of a Q & A session with Baxter in which he talks about the documentary. It is followed by the trailer for the film.
Disclosure: I have met Anthony Baxter on several occasions. He was brought as a guest to a BBQ at my house in Scotland and we met again at several other events. He also gave my eldest daughter very good advice about photography and film making. He is a very generous and open guy and I hope that he has even more success with his future ventures.