Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and sending their work to Brett to review. No person is promised a positive review, and all art is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent creativity.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on an artist very different from the typical talent we showcase here on this website. Instead of delving deep into a musician’s work, we’ll be exploring a director and filmmaker’s endeavor. Devin Negrete, a filmmaker out of Lake County, California, has released ‘TRUMP IS GOD [NATURE],’ a highly experimental short film. Is it worth spending some time with? Let’s find out.
I’d recommend going ahead and streaming the film along with or prior to this review; it can be found above. The video, as one may expect, is a scathing critique of president-elect Donald Trump. Clocking in just over seven minutes, Negrete explores several societal implications of the real estate mogul's presidency in a bizarre, but wholly unique fashion. Released in May of last year, one could argue that Negrete’s work holds even more emphasis now.
A large part of ‘TRUMP IS GOD’ is a fascinating juxtaposition of peaceful imagery and dramatic, uncomfortable footage and audio of conflict that often arises from those who support Trump, or the culture he facilitates. There’s a great audio/video sample from President Obama that furthers the notion that black and non-white culture is actually a very dominant part of the United States, contrary to popular belief.
Negrete offers an immediate dichotomy to that, however, with audio of people in turmoil over medical issues, people in screaming matches with one another, and what sounds like confrontations between the police and the public. Negrete opts to sporadically splice peaceful imagery between or on top of this chaos: cows grazing in pastures, lovely rivers and meadows, and so on and so forth.
One can’t help but feel that Negrete’s short film shows a frightening contrast: a peaceful America vs Trump’s America. It’s important for people like Negrete to be critical of Trump - the artistic community has to be vigilant of any divisive political figure. ‘TRUMP IS GOD [NATURE]’ poses some questions for one’s own internal monologue. How will one live in a Trump presidency? How will one maintain what they see as pure, and what they see as potentially corruptible by Trump or his ideas? This short film does what it should do: it makes you think.