Political Documentaries Reap Windfall From Trump Era

James D. Stern (right) in 'American Chaos'

James D. Stern (right) in 'American Chaos'

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In “American Chaos,” Stern travels the country talking to Trump supporters, after proclaiming during the campaign that “America’s not gullible enough to elect a man” with his credentials.
During one of the more telling exchanges, Stern asks an older white man to identify the year to which the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” hearkens back. He puts the time at 1957, seemingly oblivious to the fact that those years might not be viewed in the same way by women and minorities.
The film, notably, continues through election night, as a clearly crestfallen Stern watches the results, finally proclaiming, “Maybe we’ll survive this too.”
If “American Chaos” is a ground-level view of the campaign, “Active Measures” seeks to provide a bird’s-eye perspective of how Russians cultivated Trump through the years, while documenting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategy of using espionage to undermine democracies from within.
The film interviews a who’s who of political and media figures, including Hillary Clinton, the late John McCain and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who describes Trump as being “the perfect mark for the Russians.”
For those who have followed coverage of the Trump-Russia story, much of this will be a rehash. But the film is skillfully assembled into what feels like a thriller, making the case articulated by investigative journalist Craig Unger (among those featured), author of “House of Trump, House of Putin,” that Trump Tower became a “money-laundering paradise.”

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RBG's influence on American marriage

RBG's influence on American marriage

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