Trump’s Controversial Past Uncovered in Cannes Premiered Film ‘The Apprentice’


In stark contrast to the ongoing hush money trial of Donald Trump back in New York, a cinematic excavation of his past debuted at the renowned Cannes Film Festival on Monday. The film, titled “The Apprentice”, is a venturesome portrayal of the former President during the cutthroat milieu of New York City in the 1980s.

The film, a brainchild of the Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, features Sebastian Stan in the titular role of Trump. This poignant political drama underscores the pivotal relationship between Trump and his mentor, Roy Cohn, embodied on screen by Jeremy Strong. Cohn, formerly the chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy’s infamously incisive 1950s Senate investigations, is depicted as a key figure in grooming the young Trump, helping him navigate the raw and ruthless realities of New York City politics and business.

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The narrative incorporates an early instance of Cohn running defense for the Trump Organization during a federal lawsuit aimed at alleged racial discrimination in housing. Anchor to the drama is the portrayal of an alliance between Trump and Cohn as a Faustian pact that ultimately fueled Trump’s ascend to power, first in business and later in politics.

Billed as a film based on true events, “The Apprentice” reimagines a youthful Trump initially starting his career as an ambitious, albeit naive, real estate entrepreneur. Cohn’s tutelage would soon alter the course of his trajectory. The movie is presently exhibited at Cannes and awaits a confirmed release date.

A scene that is likely to stir controversy depicts Stan’s Trump allegedly raping his former wife, Ivana Trump, played by Maria Bakalova. This stems from Ivana Trump’s previous statement during their 1990 divorce deposition in which she claimed to have been raped by Trump, an allegation he has always vehemently denied, and which she later recanted, characterizing her experience metaphorically rather than literally.

Anticipated to be a highly debated cinematic spectacle, “The Apprentice” comes amidst a brewing U.S. presidential election. It could certainly serve as a dramatic big-screen exposé, depending upon how its critical reception evolves.

Behind-the-scenes reports suggest that Dan Snyder, former owner of the Washington Commanders and an investor in “The Apprentice,” privately took issue with the film’s characterization of Trump. These claims cite Snyder, who has previously back rolled Trump’s presidential campaign, pressuring for edits to the final cut that would ostensibly paint a less contentious image of the ex-president.

In his statement about the film, Abbasi expressed, “This is not a biopic of Donald Trump, we’re not interested in every detail of his life going from A to Z. We’re interested in telling a very specific story through his relationship with Roy and Roy’s relationship with him.”

With its compelling narrative and visually arresting 1980s aesthetic, “The Apprentice” is poised to be a talking point in forthcoming award seasons. Its potential political impacts notwithstanding, the film is already buzzing in Cannes, vying for the festival’s top accolades, including the prestigious Palme d’Or. The movie’s premiere and subsequent press conference are eagerly awaited events in the festival’s schedule.