The Reunited States & Trans in Trumpland – what does the future hold for a divided U.S. of A?
The world watched as the United States seemed to crumple before our eyes under the previous administration, and those same eyes are watching now to see if any of the damage done can be repaired and amends made. Two productions are out this month that take a look at just how divided the country has become, not only politically, but by race, gender, sexuality, income, and geographically. The Reunited States looks more at the political angle that divides the country so easily between the Liberal left and Religious right, while Trans in Trumpland focuses specifically on the struggles of trans individuals. Both are required viewing, and not only for those living in the United States. Both topics are global issues affecting many countries around the world that are becoming more divided, as opposed to uniting as one.
At a time when America is ripping apart at the seams, The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows the unsung heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides. Susan Bro, who lost her daughter when a car drove through a crowd in Charlottesville, and David and Erin Leaverton, a Republican couple who travel to all fifty states in an RV to find out what divides us, are just a few of the characters profiled in the film. Each of these bridge-builders have realized that while our divides run deeper than they ever could have imagined, so does the love and hope to bring our country back together. Based on the book of the same name, the film urges us to consider that everyone has a role to play in reuniting the country.
Overall this is a good start for trying to awaken the country to the current political situation its in. The Leaverton’s head out on a journey to try and see what’s wrong with their country. Cruising along in their luxurious motor home likely won’t get them into the neighbourhoods they really need to be communicating with. So what viewers are given is a distorted view shown in a way the production team drew out. As long time Republicans who voted for Trump, and state they aren’t going to be changing party loyalty as a result of this experiment, come across as fake and vacant. They did allude to the fact that part of the reason for doing this was a result of having their own lives changed after giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome.
Similar to the Leaverton’s, Susan Bro, also was awakened to the disaster that their country currently is in, by the tragedy of losing her daughter at a BLM rally. As a white person, she admits to not realizing that things were so bad, and she has now taken it upon herself to educate others in the name of her daughter. A third story line is that of an independent politician who ran against his Democrat and Republican contenders. Although losing the race, he opened the eyes of many people who are critical of the current two-party system.
The one most encouraging aspect of the film is a group of young senators comprised of both political parties who meet together with the one common goal of fixing what’s broken. They meet regular to discuss common issues, and then work together instead of against each other to try and come up with solutions. What a novel idea!
The one thing that fails in this film, which is also at the base of continued conflict within the United States government, is the inability to separate politics from religion. Throughout the film, religion is brought to the forefront, and if that country wants to fully be inclusive and rid itself of biases, racism, and corruption, then the Christian religion will also have to be toned down a bit.
The Reunited States is available on Digital Download now via iTunes, Google Play and Xbox, as well as virtual cinemas and other streaming services.
Produced by TransWave Films and executive produced by Trace Lysette, Chella Man, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, TRANS IN TRUMPLAND investigates the impact of anti-trans policies on the lives of four transgender Americans. Told through a road trip narrative across remote parts of the United States, the series explores the trans experience in Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Idaho.
Trans in Trumpland investigates the impact of anti-trans policies on the lives of four transgender Americans. Told through a road trip narrative across remote parts of the United States, the series explores the trans experience in Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Idaho. Set against the backdrop of increasing rates of transphobic violence, Trans in Trumpland shows the grim realities that trans Americans face. Production of Trans in Trumpland was completed in 2019. Trans in Trumpland is slated for release as a four episode docuseries.
This series takes a look at everyday Americans across the country, who also happen to be trans. Done partially as a reality television series, and partially as a documentary, the 30-minute segments offer insight into the struggles each must face just trying to live their day-to-day lives. With hate crimes and murders of trans people at an all time high, the NYC director took it upon himself to search out individuals from outside big city centres to get varying perspectives. Definitely worth watching to learn more about the trans community, and all the great political and activism work that they are doing, despite the heavy odds against them.
I understand the Trump reference in the title, and realize most of this was shot while he was still in office, however I think a different name for the series would have worked a lot better. As they say, out of sight, out of mind.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Topic, and many other streaming services.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.