Cannes Film Festival Trump wants to take action against films about him

A new film portrays Donald Trump as some kind of ruthless monster. In a scene in the film “The Apprentice” the protagonist rapes his former wife. Trump wants to take action against this.

According to media reports, former US President Donald Trump wants to take action against a film that portrays him in a negative light. “We will file a lawsuit to challenge the blatantly false claims made by these alleged filmmakers,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told industry magazine Variety.

“Everyone talks about how he sued a lot of people, but they don't talk about his success rate,” said the film's director, Ali Abbasi, in Cannes on Tuesday. The film is about his film “The Apprentice,” which premiered at the film festival. The work is a film biography of Trump in his younger years and is set in the 1970s and 1980s, when he was expanding his real estate business in New York. The film portrays Trump as a kind of ruthless monster.

“This is a film about a system”

In one scene, Trump, as a character in “The Apprentice,” rapes his former wife Ivana Trump, and in another, he is seen having liposuction. The Romanian-American actor Sebastian Stan plays the 77-year-old.

Trump is running again for the presidential election in November and is currently facing a hush money case. The case concerns the prosecution's allegation that Trump wanted to improve his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election by paying $130,000 to porn filmmaker Stormy Daniels and then falsely accounting for the flow of money.

Cannes is also the subject of a documentary about Daniels called “Stormy.” The work in which Daniels is involved will be marketed at the “Marché de Film”, the business equivalent of the film festival. According to media reports, the documentary describes from Daniel's perspective how she dealt with the aftermath of the alleged sexual relationship with Trump.

There was no financing for the film in Hollywood

“The Apprentice” also tells of the friendship between Trump and lawyer Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong). In the film, it is portrayed as if Cohn was instrumental in helping Trump's career – but Trump later dropped him when he was no longer useful to him. Cohn died of AIDS in 1986. In the film, Trump also distances himself from Cohn in view of this illness.

The American screenwriter Gabriel Sherman said in Cannes that he based his portrayal of Trump on real events. Many producers did not think much of the film idea. In his opinion, it would not have been possible to make the film in Hollywood. “The Apprentice” is a Canadian, Danish and Irish co-production.

Abbasi added: “In recent years, my optimism for the world has faded.” It would be more comfortable to hope that times would get better again, he said. It feels better to say: “These wars and political debates and so on come and go, and the corrupt politicians come and go, and they don't concern me – but they concern us.”

At the same time, he emphasized: “This is really not a film about Donald Trump. This is a film about a system. It is a film about a system and the way the system works and how the system is structured and how power works expressed in this system.”