Combustible Celluloid
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With: Malcolm Nancy, George Conway, John Gartner, Lance Dodes, Justin Frank, Ramani Durvasula, Anthony Scaramucci, Suzanne Lachmann, Rick Reilly, Bill Kristol, Richard Painter, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Cheryl Koos, Sheldon Solomon
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Dan Partland
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 83
Date: 08/28/2020

#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sociopath Study

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It certainly won't convert any Trump fans, but the documentary #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump still puts forth one of the clearest and most compelling analyses of the 45th U.S. President's controversial, polarizing behavior.

In #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump, a group of psychiatrists, psychologists, and scholars, plus former White House and government officials, and several others, offer their analysis of the controversial behavior of President Donald Trump. The doctors conclude that Trump is a "malignant narcissist."

They demonstrate how Trump fits the definitions of the four conditions of malignant narcissism, which are: 1) narcissism, 2) paranoia, 3) anti-social personality disorder, and 4) sadism. Other interviewees describe how Trump cheats (specifically at golf), or how terrible he is to women. The documentary also analyzes how Trump's behavior could possibly appeal to voters, citing comparisons to Mussolini and Hitler.

Directed by Dan Partland #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump features a wide array of interviewees, from high-ranking doctors and historians, to former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance, attorney and co-founder of The Lincoln Project George Conway (and husband of former Trump campaign manager Kelly Anne), Anthony Scaramucci, a former Director of Communications under Trump (he held the position for 11 days), sportswriter Rick Reilly, and Richard Painter, Ethics Attorney under President George W. Bush.

The documentary is fairly scattershot; ranging from intelligent psychoanalysis to Trump's golf game to quite a few snippets of archive footage (much of which has been seen thousands of times), but it has a good, calm energy, comfortable in its logic and in its ability to speak freely. It even addresses one major criticism — how can doctors analyze a patient they've never met? — and provides a reasonable explanation (as well as untangling the "Goldwater Rule").

Meanwhile, Scaramucci looks back to offer a well-reasoned justification for Trump's fervent supporters. ("It's an anger-based vote.") Overall, #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump is, predictably, alarming, and it certainly has a limited shelf life, but it's also enlightening, proving that knowledge can give fear a run for its money any day.

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