Totally Under Control Trailer: First Look at Alex Gibney’s COVID-19 Doc

By Pat Mullen

There are well-timed news stories and there are well-timed news stories. Mere hours after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania revealed that they tested positive for COVID-19, the trailer debuted for Alex Gibney’s new documentary that tackles the Idiot-in-Chief’s total mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. (Press were given a head’s up last night about the trailer’s release, so the timing is fortuitously coincidental.) Totally Under Control , made in secrecy by Gibney with directors Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, assembles top health officials and whistleblowers who set the record straight about Trump’s disastrous response that has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans. “With an extraordinary team of collaborators, I was compelled to mount this production when I saw the scale of incompetence and political corruption by the Trump Administration in the face of a global pandemic,” said Gibney in a statement.

Totally Under Control leads the first wave of COVID docs that began with Ai Weiwei’s Coronation and the acclaimed TIFF premiere 76 Days, although this doc marks the first feature about the situation in America. The first images of the film also provide early glimpses of the production methods and safety protocols that documentary filmmakers are implementing as they adapt to the situation and chronicle this story from the thick of the pandemic. Totally Under Control opens virtually this October from Elevation Pictures.

Synopsis: On January 20th, 2020 the US and South Korea both discovered their first cases of COVID-19. However, 9 months later, the novel Coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 200,000 Americans and caused staggering economic damage, while in South Korea, there were no significant lockdowns and, in an urbanized population of 51 million, only 344 lives have been lost. Where did we go wrong? As the presidential election nears, Americans are increasingly enraged by a lack of clear leadership, endemic political corruption and left to wonder how did the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world manage to fail so thoroughly in its response to a global pandemic?