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The Ups and Downs of Netflix’s “Trump: An American Dream”

Trump: An American Dream is a British-produced episodic documentary that explores the U.S. President’s early days as a tenacious businessman reaching heights his father never dreamed of all the way up to his decision to run for the most powerful office in the world. Originally airing on the UK’S Channel 4 back in 2017, the series has now made its way to Netflix, allowing the rest of the world to finally see it.

If you’re not sure it’s worth your time, here are a few ups and downs to help make up your mind.

Up – It’s Entertaining

There are a lot of documentaries out there that take an interesting subject matter and somehow make it boring. Thankfully, this isn’t one of them. Watching Trump’s rise, growth and continuous battles with debt, the media and personal problems will hold your attention for the entire four episodes, regardless of how you feel about him.

Down – It Doesn’t Tell Us Anything New

Instead of revealing anything previously unknown about the man, Trump: An American Dream instead decides to spend its entire run-time recapitulating events that are common knowledge for a lot of people. There is nothing here you can’t already find online. Thankfully, Trump’s life story is fascinating enough that a complete recap of it isn’t enough to derail this documentary but it does make it completely inessential for those with an interest in Trump looking to discover something new.

Up – The Interviewees

The number of Trump’s friends, associates and critics that the filmmakers managed to find and interview for this documentary is incredibly impressive. While they cover events and stories that most will already be familiar with, it’s certainly more exciting and engaging to hear them come from the mouths of those closest to Trump compared to going online and reading about them on some website.

Down – It Feels Like There’s An Episode Missing

To many people, the most interesting days of Trump’s life aren’t his real estate deals back in the ’70s, his expansion into casinos in the ’80s, his divorces and affairs, how close he came to financial ruin, his comeback or his time on The Apprentice. No, that would be his 2016 Presidential Campaign. Unfortunately, the documentary stops just short of exploring this time period, which leads to an abrupt ending that’ll leave many viewers dissatisfied and longing for more.

Up – It’s Balanced

In this day and age, when it comes to any piece of media related to Trump, a one-sided hatchet job can often be expected. While the documentary does go down that route, delving frequently into his often shameless and bullyish behaviour, it also explores his other side, that of a charismatic and likeable workaholic who boosts the economy, cares for his country and provides opportunities to many. It’s not only a refreshing portrayal bound to please both sides of the spectrum, but it’s also an appropriate one considering this is not a documentary by a director looking to convey their personal beliefs of Trump but rather just a simple re-telling of his life in documentary format.

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