• Still from documentary 'You've Been Trumped' (SBS )Source: SBS
As Donald Trump is officially taking office, explore these movies at SBS On Demand inspired by the new leader of the free world.
Stephen A. Russell

17 Jan 2017 - 2:27 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2017 - 2:26 PM

In a seemingly bizarro world take on reality, President Elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn in on January 20 in Washington DC.

It was the political ascendency few of us saw coming, even though the populist tide of world politics had been turning that way for quite some time, with Brexit a clear indicator of the days ahead.

What this will mean for the world is anyone’s guess, but you can always keep up by tuning into Trump’s Twitter feed, sparking international incidents, crippling company share prices and bashing Hollywood royalty.

In the meantime, here are some movies over at SBS On Demand inspired by the new leader of the free world.


In the Loop

UK, 2010
Genre: Politics, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander
What's it about?
Armando Iannucci’s verbally and occasionally physically violent political spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, terror of incompetent politicians, is a creation of devious brilliance in UK drama The Thick of It. Upping the ante, this sort-of spin-off takes the mad, bad Scotsman, a living, breathing hurricane of profanity, and drops him in Washington DC amidst an impending political crisis that’s a clear mirror of the road to the 2003 Iraq war. Televisual worlds collide when Tucker crosses paths with The Sopranos James Gandolfini as Army Lt. General George Miller, a sublime showdown.

In the Loop Review


Election Day

USA, 2007
Genre: Politics and Current Affairs, Documentary
Language: English
Director: Katy Chevigny
What's it about?
With political experts still dissecting the road to President Trump, it seems clear that the dissatisfaction of the Rust Belt and the collapse of the Democrats support there, perhaps taken for granted, is at least part of the answer. Katy Chevigny’s eye-opening, street-level doco dodges the big players and speaks straight to voters on election day 2004, with John Kerry vying to wrest the Presidency form George W Bush. From a felon fresh out of jail who values the worth of his vote so long denied him, to Native American tribal leaders sceptical of both sides of politics, this is as fascinating as polling stations get. 


Death of a President

UK, 2006
Genre: Politics, Documentary, Drama
Language: English, Arabic
Director: Gabriel Range
Starring: Hend Ayoub, Becky Ann Baker
What's it about?
Speaking of George W, and with Pablo Larrain’s staggering Jackie starring an Oscar-worthy Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in the week following the harrowing assassination of her husband in cinemas now, we can’t help but recall Trump’s charming veiled threat to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton that 2nd amendment peeps could sort her out. Which brings us to this fictional documentary curiosity, positing an investigation into the unsolved assassination of Bush in 2007.


The Shooter

Denmark, 2012
Genre: Thriller
Language: Danish
Director: Annette K Olsen
Starring: Trine Dyrholm, Kim Bodina, Nikolaj Lie-Kaas
What's it about?
While we’re on about fictional assassinations and acknowledging Trump’s infamous back-peddling, The Commune star Trine Dyrholm plays celebrated political journalist Mia Moesgaard, in The Shooter (Skytten). Holding the newly installed Green party government to account when they break a political promise not to build more offshore oil drilling stations, she predicts that their treacherous backflip will lead to violent demonstrations. Mia’s soon proven right when a gun-totting environmental activist (Kim Bodina) takes her hostage.



China, 2005
Genre: Thriller
Language: Cantonese
Director: Johnnie To
Starring: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Simon Yam, Nick Cheung
What's it about?
It’s not just the politicians who are crooks. Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s Election (Hak Se Wui) sees two Triad bosses Big D (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and Lok (Simon Yam) vying for supremacy and ultimate control of the Wu Sing Society. The violence is brutally inventive and the struggle is intriguing democratic, rather than dynastic. Also check out the sequel Election 2 which amps up the action.


Documenting Donald Trump
There is no argument that Donald Trump is an intensely fascinating person, which is why he has been the focus of so many documentaries throughout his career.

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

USA, 2010
Genre: Politics, Documentary
Language: English
Director: Alex Gibney
Starring: Eliot Spitzer
What's it about?
While scandal seems to slide off Trump as if he’s Teflon, not all political figures are as lucky. A dab hand at delivering doco thrillers like Zero Days and We Steal Secrets, director Alex Gibney takes on the man once mooted as America’s first Jewish President. New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer had it all and was willing to take on Wall Street, making him plenty of enemies, until, Weiner-like, it all came tumbling down, with revelations that he was seeing sex workers on the sly. A complex character with a hot temper, this is riveting stuff.

SBS On Demand: Going Gibney


The Fall of Fujimori

Peru, 2004
Genre: History, Documentary, Politics and Current Affairs
Language: Spanish, English
Director: Ellen Perry
Starring: Alberto Fujimori
What's it about?
The child of Japanese immigrants, Alberto Fujimori’s shock win of the Peruvian presidency in 1990 marked the beginning of a decade in power that saw him get brutal with terrorists, in a foreshadowing of the global ‘War on Terror’ to come. Racked with controversy, this intriguing figure’s term came to an abrupt end when he fled the country. Director Ellen Perry assembles excellent archival footage to accompany interviews with the man himself and excellent talking heads, both friends and enemies.


Che: Part One & Two

USA, Spain, France, 2009
Genre:  Biography, Drama, History
Language: Spanish, English
Director: Steven Soderberg
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Julia Ormond, Oscar Isaac
What's it about?
It remains to be seen what Trump will make of President Obama’s detente with Cuba. In the meantime, soak up Steven Soderberg’s two-part, four-plus hour sweeping historical biopic of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (Benicio Del Toro), the Argentine doctor turned guerrilla warfare soldier and Fidel Castro supporter, in an epic evolutionary saga spanning from his Cuban success to untimely death in Bolivia. Based on Che’s diaries, it’s an intimate portrait of an almost mythical man.

Che: Part One & Two Review
Che: Part One and Part Two review Review


Don’s Party

Australia, 1980
Genre: Classic, Drama
Language: English
Director: Bruce Beresford
Starring: Graham Kennedy, John Hargreaves, Pat Bishop
What's it about?
How could we talk politics and not reference that great Australian classic Don’s Party? Adapted by David Williamson from his wildly successful play, Puberty Blues director Bruce Beresford captures the suburban drama with aplomb. Set in Sydney’s North Shore on election night in 1969, Don (John Hargreaves) and his Labor mates are sure the coalition is finally done for after two decades in power. Sadly for them, it wasn’t to be and Gough Whitlam’s loss, plus plenty of booze, leads to a fair few fireworks.

Why you should watch: Don's Party


The Great Dictator

USA, 1940
Genre: Classic, Comedy, Drama
Language: English
Director: Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles Chaplin
What's it about?
Trump’s most “bigly” bumbling comments and petulant strikes on the likes of Meryl Streep and former Miss America Alicia Machado play like black comedy, almost rendering Alec Baldwin’s hilarious send ups defunct. Almost. But the country’s dramatic lurch to the right is terrifyingly real. In a post-truth world where his most blatant lies are challenged but he sustains no lasting damage, where his racist and sexist slurs come thick and fast without remorse, while he gloats of his admiration for Putin even as his own intelligence agencies warn of Russia’s attacks on their democracy and all while concealing his tax affairs, it’s hard not to see shadows of a darker past. Sometimes you have to retreat to a classic: the legendary Charlie Chaplin’s en pointe skewering of Hitler, The Great Dictator.

Charlie Chaplin's sharp satire 'The Great Dictator'

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