Director James D. Stern begins with a premise that, nearly two years into the Trump era, seems to be of questionable value—then makes something even more irritating than that. The veteran producer and documentarian (who chronicled the role of Ohio in the 2004 election in ...So Goes the Nation) spends the weeks leading up to the 2016 Presidential election talking with Trump supporters, trying to understand the appeal of this candidate the unapologetically liberal Stern fears deeply. His claim at the outset that his goal is to “just listen” disappears pretty quickly, as he includes experts debunking Trumpists’ claims about climate change, voter fraud and the like. And while there are a few moments of insight showing what a few non-crazy voters hope Trump can accomplish, mostly it’s a rehash of “disaffected white voter” profiles that have become ubiquitous. Worse still, Stern’s own presence, and the time he spends on his own anxieties leading up to election day, makes the movie way too much about the filmmaker himself. It’s off-brand Michael Moore, but at least Moore occasionally provides something to chuckle at.
Director: James Stern
Producer: James Stern, Fernando Villena, Christopher Chen, Karen Bove and Eleanor Nett