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Donald Trump's biopic The Apprentice premieres at Cannes 2024, sparks controversy over rape scene

The film is touted to be inspired by true events and portrays Trump's dealings with Roy Cohn, who was the defense attorney who was the chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy's 1950s Senate investigations.

Written By: Aseem Sharma @kaafir_aseem New Delhi Published on: May 21, 2024 9:45 IST
apprentice cannes
Image Source : FESTIVAL-CANNES.COM A still from The Apprentice

While Donald Trump's hush money trial entered its sixth week in New York, an origin story for the Republican presidential candidate premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday, unveiling a scathing portrait of Trump in the 1980s. The Apprentice, directed by the Iranian Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, stars Sebastian Stan as Trump. The central relationship of the movie is between Trump and Roy Cohn (Jeremy Strong), the defense attorney who was the chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy's 1950s Senate investigations.

However, the film is captivating much attention over a rape scene wherein Trump, played by Sebastian Stan, violently throws his then-wife Ivana to the ground and proceeds to have nonconsensual sex with her. In the scene, Ivana is seen playfully presenting a book to her husband about the merits of a female orgasm. Later, Trump tells his wife that he is no longer attracted to her, following which an argument erupts between the two and he throws her to the ground.  

The Apprentice, which is labelled as inspired by true events, portrays Trump's dealings with Cohn as a Faustian bargain that guided his rise as a businessman and, later, as a politician. The film is for sale in Cannes, so it doesn't yet have a release date.

Variety on Monday reported alleged behind-the-scenes drama surrounding The Apprentice. Citing anonymous sources, the trade publication reported that billionaire Dan Snyder, the former owner of the Washington Commanders and an investor in The Apprentice, has pressured the filmmakers to edit the film over its portrayal of Trump.

Snyder previously donated to Trump's presidential campaign. In the press notes for the film, Abbasi, whose previous film Holy Spider depicts a female journalist investigating a serial killer in Iran, said he didn't set out to make a History Channel episode.”

“The Apprentice” is playing in a competition at Cannes, making it eligible for the festival's top award, the Palme d'Or. At Cannes, filmmakers and casts hold press conferences the day after a movie's premiere. The Apprentice press conference will be on Tuesday.

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read: Jacqueliene Fernandez steals spotlight with golden shimmery gown at Cannes Film Festival | WATCH

Also Read: Kamal Haasan-starrer 'Indian 2' gets new release date, set to clash with Akshay Kumar's 'Sarfira'

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