A Dangerous GameCultureCinema
Anthony Baxter’s 2011 film You’ve Been Trumped supplied a mixture of anti-authoritarian film-making and quaint local charm, documenting the struggle of a group of people on the Aberdeenshire coastline against outspoken property magnate Donald Trump, and his plans for an elaborate golf course. The people of Balmedie picked a fight they couldn’t win, but as Trump began planning his next 18 holes, Baxter returned with follow-up A Dangerous Game.
Baxter hits his targets hard, but where the first film had a relentless focus, its sequel gives us parallels across the globe. It’s difficult to be as precious about planned sights in Dubai or the Mojave Desert, but the ecological realities of maintaining a full-sized golf course in an area in a constant state of drought are equally devastating.
It’s clear that this is the second part of what was, and still is, an ongoing battle, but the film ensures newcomers are up-to-date by reusing footage from the first film to show important events first hand. Catch-ups are occasionally used a little over-zealously, but prove to be mostly worthwhile as interviewees, both friend and foe, return from You’ve Been Trumped.
Trump, it turns out, is just as preposterous as his ghastly quiff implies, but pitted against Baxter’s cool interview technique it’s clear that he’s equally dangerous. His son, Donald Trump Jr., is similarly deluded, proffering supposedly long-held beliefs in environmentalism alongside photos of him mutilating animals on an African safari. A Dangerous Game is at its very best when contrasting the outlandish and hypocritical views of the American elite with the seemingly balanced opinions of people living on Scotland’s east coast.
Inevitably, it’s not the greed-fuelled views of the wealthy elite that are surprising; the film’s real point of interest is the freedom they are allowed by politicians in spite of the laws and referendums that oppose them, and although the outcome does provide a glimmer of hope, A Dangerous Game highlights a potentially devastating trend that goes far beyond the game of golf.
Joe Manners Lewis
A Dangerous Game is released in selected cinemas on 18th September 2014.
Watch the trailer for A Dangerous Game here: