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donald trump

Posted on November 15, 2016

Saw, Hostel, Post-Industry and the Rise of Trump

Dawn Keetley

I’m teaching Saw (James Wan, 2004) and Hostel (Eli Roth, 2005) right now—and, since I have a pulse, I also can’t help but spare the occasional thought to last week’s US presidential election and to Donald Trump’s stunning victory. Shortly after the election, I ran across Michael Moore’s prescient article predicting exactly that eventuality. Moore described a possible “Rust Belt Brexit,” claiming that Trump would do well in four traditionally Democratic states—Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan—home to many “angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people.” And indeed, against all expectations, Trump won all four of these states. There’s one sentence in Moore’s piece, as he’s describing this part of the country (as well as the Midlands of England), that resonated profoundly with me, not only because I’ve lived in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and grew up in the industrial Midlands of England, but also because I’m teaching Saw and Hostel: “From Green Bay to Pittsburgh,” Moore writes, “this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class.”[i] Read more

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