Circle Cinema held a special showing of the stand-up style documentary “Michael Moore in Trumpland” this past Tuesday night. The star of the film, American documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore, gave a Skype interview for the Circle moviegoers after the showing. The film shows a talk given by Moore in a largely Trump-supporting town covering his thoughts on the choice between electing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as president. Spoiler alert: he’s voting for Hillary. Moore jumped from serious moments to comic relief in mere seconds to engage every audience member, not just the ones who already agreed with him.
The documentary starts out with a look at the “Trumpland” that Moore is speaking in for the night. The town’s real name is Wilmington, Ohio and it is clearly an overwhelmingly conservative town, as evidenced by the countless Trump stickers, signs, and billboards. Moore had “Trump voters welcome” written on the marquee, and he opened his talk up with appeals to the pro-Trumps. Though it took half the film for the conservative audience members to warm up and actually laugh or clap at Moore, he created common ground between liberals like himself and conservatives by saying that we all want core things, like jobs and good schools for our children.
At one point, he shared a letter he had written in his hotel room the night before. The beginning of the letter expressed the anger towards the establishment that most of the exuberant Trump supporters vocalize at his rallies. He said that he understood the good feeling they’d get by voting for Trump instead of a “career politician” like Clinton. The beginning of this section of the film can be seen all over Facebook, but it’s not being shared by Clinton voters. It’s being shared by Trump supporters who cut out the ending of it, which explains what will happen after voters get that good feeling from voting for Trump. He says the instant Trump gratification will subside and voters will feel regret, much like the regret that British citizens expressed after voting for Brexit.
Moore admitted that he has not always been a Hillary voter. He voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary, but made his switch to Hillary. He commented on the same subject when a Circle Cinema audience member asked him about Bernie, saying, “We lost and we didn’t really lose fairly. The DNC misbehaved. But it’s over. We can work to fix the system to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but instead of being upset, let’s take a bow. I mean we won 22 states, a democratic socialist won 22 states. That’s historic. The new lead of the Budget Committee will be Mr. Bernie Sanders. There’s a lot of things to be happy about.”
In the film, Moore spoke also, however, of his long-term “secret love” for Hillary Clinton. He spoke of her intelligence and her tenacity to take the hits she’s taken from the public and the government and still keep fighting for what she stands for. He recounted her years as First Lady and the work she had done within office. Clinton’s younger voice reciting a speech she wrote in college was played for the audience. After gaining rapport with his audience members in the beginning, Moore now fervently urged them to avoid the chaos that Trump would bring and vote for Hillary Clinton.
On the Skype call with Circle, Moore chided the media for the inequality in the treatment of the candidates, saying “The media didn’t make him elaborate. He saw they would put him on shows and he didn’t even have to show up. He’s a creation of the media.” When asked why the media would create him, he replied, “Ratings, money. He’s been so good for ratings. Not nearly as many people would’ve watched the debates if it would’ve been between Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio. It fits the capitalist business model.”
When a moviegoer at the Circle Cinema asked Moore about expecting better from Trump voters, he replied, “It’s hard for me to meet them halfway, but we have no other choice. This vote cannot go wrong.” Moore spoke hopefully of Oklahoma voters, however, saying “The old way is on the way out and the new way is coming in. The youth of Oklahoma are educated and the new way is coming in. Things are changing and they’re going to get better.”