The Trump campaign criticizes the film The Apprentice, presented at Cannes

The Trump campaign criticizes the film The Apprentice, presented at Cannes
The Trump campaign criticizes the film The Apprentice, presented at Cannes

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said in a statement that the Trump team would take legal action “to address the blatantly false claims made by these fake filmmakers.”

Mr Cheung described the film as “rubbish”, which sensationalizes “lies”.

The Apprentice, which premiered Monday in Cannes, stars Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump. The film focuses on the relationship between Mr. Trump and Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong), who served as lead counsel for Joseph McCarthy’s Senate investigations in the 1950s into suspected communists.

In the film, directed by Iranian−Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, Roy Cohn is portrayed as a longtime mentor of Mr. Trump, introducing him to the ruthlessness of politics and the business of New York. Early on, Mr. Cohn helped the Trump Organization when it was being sued by the federal government for racial discrimination in housing.

The Apprentice, which says it is inspired by real events, describes Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Cohn as a Faustian pact that guided his rise as a businessman and, later, as a politician. Sebastian Stan’s Donald Trump begins as a more naive real estate activist, soon transformed by Roy Cohn’s education.

The film notably contains a scene showing Donald Trump raping his wife, Ivana Trump (played by Maria Bakalova).

In Ivana Trump’s 1990 divorce deposition, she said Mr. Trump raped her. Donald Trump had denied the allegation, and Ivana Trump later said she didn’t mean it literally, but rather that she felt violated.

This scene and others make The Apprentice a potentially explosive drama on the big screen in the middle of the US presidential election. The film is on sale at Cannes, so it does not yet have a release date.

After the premiere, Ali Abbasi addressed the Cannes audience, declaring “there is no beautiful metaphorical way to confront the rising tide of fascism.”

“Good people have remained silent for too long,” he maintained. So I think it’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make movies political again.”

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