Released: 28th August
Seen: 26th October
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I do not like Donald Trump. Even back in the days when he had his little reality show I didn’t like him. I watched a little bit of Celebrity Apprentice because Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli and Gilbert Gottfried were on there and I thought it’d be funny to see just what they would do. I also watched his Comedy Central Roast, mostly because I’ve watched every Comedy Central Roast and the idea of people tearing the shit out of that blowhard for an hour just delighted me. I never liked him even before he became president and revealed himself, in my opinion, to be evil. I state this now because this documentary specifically involves Donald Trump and his mental health, a behavioural analysis of the man. I’m going to do my best to be objective about this film, but I want you to know ahead of time that in terms of subject matter, this film was preaching to the choir when it came to me.
#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump is an analysis of the behavior of the current president of the United States (a sentence I really hope becomes outdated a week after I type it). Through a combination of interviews with people who have worked with Donald, people who have written about him or psychiatrists who go over his actions and explain how this isn’t just a man who is a little bit loud and boisterous, but a malignant narcissist who doesn’t care about anything other than his own ego. So basically, just a bunch of professionals confirming something that a large amount of people already knew.
From start to finish, Unfit does not pull any punches. The closest thing to pulling a punch in the entire film is when Scaramucci defends allegations of Trump being a racist or a homophobe by stating “No, he’s just an asshole who hates everybody”. Unfit is just throwing punch after punch, each one complete with video evidence to back it up. They know that these are big claims to make, we’re psychoanalysing a man who wouldn’t lie down on a shrink’s couch for 15 minutes if his life depended on it, so they have to make sure every single claim comes with enough evidence that no one could really deny it… forgetting that they’re not going to be listened to by those who probably need to hear this most.
One major problem Unfit has is that Trump supporters are probably not going to watch a movie where the poster is Donald’s face and the word “UNFIT” over it in big bold letters. They’re going to see that it includes noted anti-Trumpers like Scaramucci or George Conway and brush it aside which is a real shame because I would hope someone who supports Trump would take a look at this and actually listen to what it’s saying. Repeatedly the people in the film state that they aren’t thinking about his policies or beliefs, but his behavior which they really just lay out as abhorrent in several ways.
Unfit really does talk about his supporters in a way that’s far more forgiving than I think many people would. They get that a lot of these people were suffering, they lay out the history of things just before Donald decided to run for office and explore why some people decided to give him a chance, the psychology behind the choice and that’s genuinely fascinating, and yes they do cop to the reality that some were just glad that they had permission to be publicly racist again but for the most part they stick to the whole “Economic Anxiety” angle and… I could argue that it’s more about the racism stuff, but this is a review and not my personal opinions on politics (pushed all that up to the top to get it out of the way for a reason!).
For the most part Unfit lands every punch, and yet it feels like there’s a lot missing. Barely touching on a lot of big scandals like… you know… all the rape he’s been accused of, maybe psycholanalyse why he feels entitled to women’s bodies over trying to say he’s bad because he cheats at golf. The man has a lot of weird and interesting things you could talk about but I guess when you decide to keep the film at a brisk 84 minutes there’s only so much you could fit in. It still feels like there’s a lot more missing in this analysis of Donald and maybe we’d have gotten more, but they had to get it out this year so hopefully it could get some notice before the election which explains why there’s so much left on the table. (PS, if you’re in the states and reading this, go vote now. Early voting is open, slap on a mask and go do it because this election is going to be contentious and you don’t want to wait to get that job done)
#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump is powerful, filled with the kind of analysis that puts the last 4 years into perspective. It’s a film clearly meant to sway the undecided (though, oh my god, how the hell are there any people who are undecided when it comes to this man? Like, even those who like him have to admit that if you aren’t all in by now then you never will be) but I worry it may end up only playing to those who already don’t like this man. That being said, if you are a fan of Donald and you somehow made it this far, I do encourage you to watch this and maybe you’ll see what the rest of us sees… a cruel narcissist who only cares about you when he thinks that you like him but will turn on you the second he gets an ounce of blowback.