#Unfit: The Psychology Of Donald Trump is exactly the documentary the title promises. Director Dan Partland interviews psychologists, therapists, and other experts to paint a portrait of how the president is a malignant narcissist. Citing his constant lies, with proof that they are lies, and using how Trump frames his stories as “I” not “we” or “us,” the qualified professionals proceed to diagnose Trump.
The other interviewees such as Malcolm Nance, George Conway (yes, that George Conway), and Anthony Scaramucci help glean the audience a semblance of how Trump thinks and reacts to any given situation. Thus, we are privy to why he acts in such a way, and what the underlying issue with that is.
I am not here to determine if I find the movie’s conclusions accurate, or fair (I do, and it is) but to judge how Partland presents the interviews and his subjects’ findings. And he does a great job at steering a possibly controversial topic into one not only of great import but also of genuine fascination. By intercutting footage of Trump repeating the same lie over and over again – after he’s been explicitly told or called out about its falsehood (even by Fox News) – the director is able to back-up every claim with hard evidence. That means, while there will certainly still be MAGA-ites who decry this documentary, it is impossible to claim anything presented as false or misleading.
“…Partland interviews psychologists, therapists, and other experts to paint a portrait of how the president is a malignant narcissist.”
And that is what gives #Unfit its resonant intensity. By explaining how psychologists do their job, an overview of the oft-misunderstood Goldwater rule, and the personal insights from those who worked with Trump, the movie is as informative and entertaining as it is shocking and anger-inducing. Partland seamless jumps through each chapter with confidence and a solid style. Yes, the interviews are talking-head style, maybe some voice-over during news footage or the like. But, by cleverly using infographics and a steady pace, he never loses the viewer’s interest.
Sometimes, if a movie is too flashy, it just won’t work, as all that style would distract from everything else. Partland knows this, and only does so when necessary, such as when talking about the Goldwater rule. This way, he keeps the viewer’s attention on the all-important fact of Trump putting ego before country and his incessant bullying of anyone who deigns to disagree with him. That is something so over-the-top no one would believe it if it weren’t actually happening.
The interviews are excellent across the board, though, shockingly, Scaramucci surprises the most with how eloquently spoken he is. When he claims that Trump is not a racist, one may be taken aback. But, as he explains his rationale, that Trump is simply an “a**hole” to everyone not named Donald J. Trump, he begins to make too much sense for comfort.
I get the uneasy feeling that those who most desperately need to watch #Unfit: The Psychology Of Donald Trump are the same ones who will decry it as “fake news.” Partland takes excellent care to ensure that such claims are inaccurate and, in doing so, has crafted a timely, intense, urgent documentary that is a wake-up call to many. An absolute must-see so that the sins of the past do not doom our future.
"…an absolute must-see so that the sins of the past do not doom our future."