Totally Under Control Condemns Donald Trump

Totally Under Control. Courtesy of NEON.

Totally Under Control is yet another documentary arriving before Election Day and among the most damning for the Trump Administration.

That the documentary takes its own title from Trump’s very words should not be a surprise.  Don’t forget this is the same Donald Trump who downplayed the threat of Covid-19 in public while telling Bob Woodward differently.  Secretly filmed during the pandemic, the film was not locked until October 1st.  Hours later, Trump would test positive for Covid-19.

This film dates back to April when many Americans were under stay-at-home orders.  Unfortunately, you still have selfish Americans that refusing to wear masks.  Oh, there’s no shortage of those videos where fights break out grocery stores.  Thankfully, they are few and far between.  Of course, Trump responded to many of these orders by inciting violence through his tweets.  Seriously, how is this man allowed to have a Twitter account if he is just going to incite violence and spread disinformation.  Watching the rallies as the seriousness of Covid-19 is known just shows the irresponsibility of this administration.  I’ve been living in a nightmare for months and there is no end it sight because there is no national leadership.  The documentary is very damning on that front.

It would be great to get White House officials on camera.  Or even the CDC or other federal agencies.  Unfortunately, this is simply impossible for an administration that refuses to be honest with the American public.  A damn shame because we could have this thing under control.  The economy will not even go back to normal until a vaccine is in place.  And when will that be?  We simply don’t know!  But anyway, getting interviews from Rick Bright, Max Kennedy, and Michael Shear enables us to get some sort of commentary about what is happening behind the scenes.

What we have here is a trio of directors that know what they’re doing.  There are points in the film where you see what kind of setups are required for documentary filmmaking during a pandemic.  Although to be fair, this is for the few subjects that the filmmakers met in person.  The Covid Cam is able to capture everyone else and this innovation is a game-changer in terms of production in quarantine.  Give cinematographer Ben Bloodwell a lot of credit for the Covid Cam.  Will other documentaries take advantage of such innovation going forward?  We’ll just have to see!

Where The Way I See It focuses on presidents being presidential and All In shows the importance of voting, Totally Under Control shows the complete carelessness and utter disregard for science.  As the embargo lifts on this film, more White House staffers are testing positive for the virus.  Not only that but Trump is going to singlehandedly kill the economy by killing the stimulus talks.  This behavior is unbecoming of a president especially less than a month before the election.

The shear incompetence of the Trump administration is responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 Americans.  What this film shows is that people need to go to jail for criminal negligence.  Trump is an egotistical narcissist of the highest order and he still allows such negligence under his watch.  It’s not surprising when you remember he called it a hoax in public while telling Bob Woodward a completely different story.

Totally Under Control is a late-season awards contender but the documentary is essential viewing.

DIRECTORS:  Alex Gibney, Suzanne Hillinger, and Ophelia Harutyunyan
FEATURING:  Scott Becker, Dr. Taison Bell, Michael Bowen, Rick Bright, Beth Cameron, Caroline Chen, Dr. Tom Frieden, Dr. Alex Greninger, Dr. Kim Jin Yong, Max Kennedy, Victoria Kim, Dr. James Lawler, Dr. Eva Lee, Dr. Francis Riedo, Kathleen Sebelius, Michael Shear, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko

Neon will release Totally Under Control on VOD on October 13, 2020 and start streaming October 20 on Hulu. Grade: 4.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.