• 'The Apprentice' premiered at Cannes
  • The film centers on the life of Donald Trump
  • His estate is not too happy

With the Trump reelection campaign branding the film "pure fiction" and threatening legal action, director Ali Abbasi stands his ground, offering a private screening to Trump himself. This article dives into the heart of the controversy, exploring the film's explosive content and the potential legal battle ahead.

A movie to stir the pot

In the glamorous yet often controversial world of the Cannes Film Festival, 'The Apprentice' has emerged as this year's most talked-about entry. Directed by Iranian Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, the film stars Sebastian Stan as a young Donald Trump, mentored by the notorious Roy Cohn.

But with the Trump campaign slamming the film as "fiction" and promising a lawsuit, Cannes 2024 has turned into more than just a showcase of cinematic talent—it's a battleground.

'The Apprentice' has certainly not shied away from controversy, depicting scenes that have already sparked outrage from Trump's camp. "This garbage is pure fiction," exclaimed Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung, hinting at a legal showdown. Yet, Abbasi remains unfazed, even inviting Trump to a private screening.

"I don’t necessarily think he would dislike it," Abbasi mused, striking a surprisingly conciliatory tone amidst the uproar.

Beyond the legal threats, 'The Apprentice' delves deep into Trump's formative years, portraying his relationship with Cohn as a pivotal influence on his business and political tactics. The film doesn't hold back, with scenes alluding to allegations of rape and depicting a ruthless ascent to power. It's a portrayal that promises to be as divisive as it is daring.

In a poignant address to the Cannes audience, Abbasi positioned 'The Apprentice' as a cinematic weapon against the "rising wave of fascism." Citing global conflicts and societal complacency, the director made a passionate plea for politically charged filmmaking.

"It’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make movies political again," Abbasi declared, setting the stage for a film that's as much a political statement as it is entertainment.

After the premiere, Abbasi addressed the Cannes audience, saying "there is no nice metaphorical way to deal with the rising wave of fascism."

"The good people have been quiet for too long," he said. "So I think it’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make movies political again."

"In the time of turmoil, there’s this tendency to look inwards, to bury your head deep in the sand, look inside and hope for the best — hope for the best, hope for the storm to get away," Abbasi said. "But the storm is not going to get away. The storm is coming. The worst times are coming."

With 'The Apprentice' yet to secure a release date, the film's true impact remains to be seen. But one thing is clear: Cannes 2024 will be remembered not just for its red-carpet glamour but for a film that dared to challenge one of America's most polarizing figures.

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It's all political fodder anyway these days.

As the legal and cultural battle lines are drawn, 'The Apprentice' stands as a testament to the power of cinema to provoke, challenge, and perhaps even change the conversation.