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Did you know Donald Trump's favorite film was Citizen Kane? And like Kane his success was largely a savvy media strategy?
In this new film, Citizen Trump, visionary Writer/Director Robert Orlando (A Polite Bribe, Silence Patton, The Divine Plan) digs below the political wars to expose Trump's epic pursuit to become America's leading man. Bigger than Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Barack Obama. Orlando claims, Trump's rising star parallels Kane and was a decades long effort. From aspiring movie mogul, to darling of gossip columnists, to Reality TV star, in the end this was all a rehearsal for the greatest role of all as President of the United States.
An antihero who would stand up for the forgotten men, steer the country through a pandemic, a market crash, and fight for the American soul. An accomplishment that even his beloved Citizen Kane never realized. Orlando says "Trump knew from early on, he who controls the story controls the world."
Is Donald Trump Today’s ‘Citizen Kane’? ‘Citizen Trump’ Film Suggests Yes: Through the lens of the 1941 classic 'Citizen Kane,' a documentary filmmaker seeks to understand the life journey of President Trump and his successful venture into politics.
DIRECTOR ROBERT ORLANDO
Photo: George Wieser
"COVID, civil unrest, a contentious presidential election — 2020 has been a banner year beyond comprehension. It is in this tumultuous environment and with great excitement that I introduce you to my new film Citizen Trump. I have been planning a film about the mercurial president in time for this year's election, but recent events — both personal and global — have made this project even more urgent and relevant.
In early spring, at the height of the COVID outbreak in New York City, severe bronchial issues stopped me in my tracks. I tested negative for the virus, but other family members did not. We weathered the storm physically, but I also was forced to temporarily close my company and put other projects on hold. As was the case for so many Americans, the imposed down time became a time of self-reflection.
Cooped up in my studio I revisited my favorite film, Citizen Kane. I have seen this classic dozens of times and even taught a course on it in film school. Now as I watched, I had an epiphany. The parallels between Charles Foster Kane and our current president astounded me. How had I not seen this before? Donald Trump — not as a for-or-against politician, but as a media persona — is a modern day, real-life Citizen Kane.
Even more intriguing, I discovered that Citizen Kane is actually Donald Trump’s favorite film. On close examination of the film, it seems apparent that Trump may have intentionally modeled his own life after the main character in Orson Welles' award-winning work. The implications galvanized my own research and set me on a path to get this new film completed pronto!
For me, the riddle of the Citizen Kane story was not only the traditional one about the sled “Rosebud” and its hidden secret of Kane’s life. For me, the real question became, if Trump’s life is indeed an echo of Kane — in wealth, media savvy and ambition — might he also be facing a similar tragic ending?...
...You'll have to watch the movie.
PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With 90 days until election day, citizens need to see this film! Let the pundits fuel the politics and parse Trump's every syllable, Citizen Trump blows up the predictable headlines with a filmmaker's naked eye toward the modern world.
Writer/Director Robert Orlando locked down during Covid-19 learned Citizen Kane was Trump's favorite film, and the parallels were astonishing. Both swaggering masters of media and both claimed they stood for the working man. "Orson Welles, the boy genius of Kane, was possessing me from the grave," states Orlando.
In this cinematic feast, we witness Trump, like Kane, trying to escape unglamorous beginnings. A decades-long effort to rise as aspiring Hollywood mogul, real estate player, darling of gossip columnists, casino owner, dabbler in politics, and reality TV star. With each new stage, it was a rehearsal for his role as president.
Truth-be-told, Kane was crushed by scandal, Trump was not. He triumphed above front-page divorces, bankruptcies, unprecedented media attack and political chaos. Will the election end his star power? We won't know until November, but with the Citizen Trump film we have our looking glass.
Following a recent private screening, the audience raved:
"Through Orlando's lens we come to see and understand - politics aside - the phenomenon that is Donald Trump."
"Robert Orlando is a gifted storyteller, I highly recommend this nonpartisan exploration for viewers on either side of the aisle."
"Through its innovative use of live footage, graphic art and noir sensibility, you will never again look at the president and not see the shadow of Charles Foster Kane."
Orlando has taken on larger-than-life enigmatic figures before in his award-winning documentaries including a bombastic general in Silence Patton, a divisive Apostle Paul in A Polite Bribe, and the visionary Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in The Divine Plan. But Citizen Trump surpasses them all in exposing a much deeper issue than politics, and that is the survival of the America identity.
As Orlando opines, "Trump knew from early on that he who controls the story controls the world, and the high myopia of public discourse blinds us to what truly matters.”