Doc filmmaker Anthony Baxter takes on Donald Trump
It's not unusual to see a Donald Trump property in NYC: His footprint is all over the Big Apple, from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue to Trump Palace on the Upper East Side.
But for the residents of a small town on the east coast of Scotland, the Donald was an unwelcome presence. He arrived there with a plan to transform the dunes on the Menie Estate on Aberdeenshire's coast - which are scientifically sensitive and key to providing information on global warming - into a golf resort.
amNewYork spoke with director Anthony Baxter, who filmed the documentary, "You've Been Trumped," about the standoff between the locals and Trump. The film opens Friday.
How did the film come about? I live just down the road, really, from where Donald Trump was going to build his golf course. When this was announced, I was expecting some of the local press to at least do some storytelling on what was going to happen in terms of the impact on the environment. The newspapers seemed to ignore this fact completely. Then having seen the way the local people who were objecting to the golf course ... were being parodied and caricatured by the [local] press, I just felt like they needed to be given a voice as well.
Was there any reasoning with Trump? When all the environmental groups in Scotland objected to his plan, they actually came up with an alternative. He said, "I want it here, or I go away and take my money elsewhere." The trouble was the local authorities seem to cower to this pressure
Do the locals think poorly of Americans now? When we've shown people the film in America, people have said to us, "Please tell everybody in Scotland this is not the image of a typical American." When I've told that to the local residents, they've said, "Oh, we know that. Of course we know that." People understand that Donald Trump is a cartoon character here in the U.S. It's extraordinary, given that background, that the Scottish government appeared to take him seriously.
Where does the story stand now?
As far as this story is concerned, I think it's come to a natural conclusion. The local people feel that he's bound to sell it because he's objecting to a wind farm poised for the east coast of the golf course, saying it's going to ruin the view for his golfers if it goes ahead. So he said he won't build any of the facilities that he's promised.