‘Michael Moore in Trumpland’ debuts in Ohio: A view from inside opening night at Gateway Film Center

Published 10/27/16

Last night at 7:30 p.m., the new documentary film Michael Moore in Trumpland debuted at the Gateway Film Center in the heart of Columbus, Ohio. The film was anticipated to be a full-fledged attack on Trump, but it turned out to be more a message for reunification. AND, it was filmed here in Ohio! More on that later on….

The film, which you can see at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus every day from now until the November 8th election, was filmed near Dayton and performed as a one-man show, in which Moore sat on stage in front of an audience spanning all political parties and predilections, there to express their issues with Hillary Clinton. The conversation that viewers witness through the documentary film flows from comedic highs to real moments of reckoning taking place in the theater. Much of the time is spent highlighting Clinton’s past accomplishments by re-framing, or rather re-having the conversation… in Trumpland.

Originally, Moore planned to “perform” and film the documentary from Licking County’s Midland Theater. When word spread of what Moore was planning, Licking County Republicans made sure that Moore was disinvited. But he did not go quietly.

In a scramble to find a new venue, Moore moved the filming to the Murphy Theater in Wilmington, Ohio, where he could field a politically diverse audience for the film shoot. Still, it almost didn’t happen. The Cincinnati Enquirer quotes Moore as saying that ahead of the Oct. 6 documentary shoot, “A state senator called down from Columbus and threatened to pull the arts funding for the theater,” which operates as a nonprofit. In Trumpland… Are we surprised?

Moore’s plan was to film Trumpland from a Trump-supporter-heavy area, because he knew liberals would travel far and wide to see the show. In Moore’s words, “the closer to Kentucky, the better.” Spanning two nights of filming, Moore’s audience was 40% Democrats, 30% Republicans, 10% Independent, and 20% Undecided.

After less than two weeks in post-production, Moore released Trumpland at the IFC Center in downtown Manhattan. The first shows were completely sold out, which prompted him to expand showings to L.A. and, guess what, Columbus! Furthermoore, Michael Moore in Trumpland was released on iTunes and sits in the #1 spot on the Top TV Seasons list. Today, the film airs in 60 selective theaters.

If you are in Columbus you can catch a viewing at the Gateway Film Center every day until November 8th. For more details about the movie, look to Twitter, or the select sampling there from below: