#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump Movie Poster Image
Docu diagnoses #45 with malignant narcissism.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 83 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The film doesn't take sides between Democratic and Republican parties. It makes a nonpartisan argument about Trump's fitness for office, and its thesis is that information is better than ignorance and fear.

Positive Role Models

Trump is portrayed as a danger to the people of the United States, to Democracy, to the world. Interviewees may be risking their careers and potentially even their personal lives by appearing here, speaking out, trying to do what they believe is right.

Violence

Images of people shouting angrily; depictions of hate and bullying.

Sex

Brief, strong, shocking sex-related statement involving the phrase "suck my d--k."

Language

Several uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "a--hole," "d--k." Middle-finger gesture.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump is a documentary that analyzes the controversial, polarizing behavior of the 45th president of the United States, concluding that he is a "malignant narcissist." It's a bit scattershot, but it's presented calmly and logically, without taking sides between the United States' two major political parties. Expect to hear strong language, including archive footage of Trump's supporters using "f--k" and "motherf----r," as well as interviewees using "a--hole." A woman tells a story about a nasty, sex-related comment Trump once made to her (using the word "d--k"). There's a general sense of emotional violence, especially in the archive footage, with anger, shouting, bullying, and threatening.

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What's the story?

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 clinical conditions of malignant narcissism, which are 1) narcissism, 2) paranoia, 3) antisocial personality disorder, and 4) sadism. Other interviewees give examples of how Trump cheats (specifically at golf) and is terrible to women. The documentary also analyzes how Trump's behavior could possibly appeal to voters, citing comparisons to Mussolini and Hitler.

Is it any good?

It certainly won't persuade any Trump fans, but this documentary puts forth one of the clearest analyses of the 45th U.S. president's controversial, polarizing behavior. Directed by Dan Partland, #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump features a wide array of interviewees, including high-ranking doctors and historians; former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance; co-founder of the Lincoln Project George Conway (husband of former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway); 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 film is fairly scattershot, ranging from intelligent psychoanalysis to discussion of 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 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"). And Scaramucci offers 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 also demonstrates that knowledge can give fear a run for its money any day.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether they consider #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump to be violent in any way. Does the movie feel calm? Edgy? Unsettling? What images or words caused these reactions? Why?

  • Does this movie feel biased one way or another? Does it have a political agenda? Is it possible for any documentary to be completely objective or free of bias?

  • Would you consider Trump a bully, based on the information presented in this documentary? Why, or why not?

  • What is empathy? Is it possible for a person to lack empathy?

  • Did the documentary inspire you to act in real life?

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