‘Totally Under Control’ Trailer: Alex Gibney’s Latest Doc Exposes Trump’s Lack Of A COVID-19 Response

If I found out Alex Gibney was doing a documentary on me, I’d just give up everything I knew and get it over with. The famed documentarian moves quickly and thoroughly, and already has a new film, Totally Under Control, about the Trump administration’s shitty handling of the COVID-19 threat.

Gee, you think the timing of this trailer is a coincidence?

Gibney, working along with co-directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan, looks at the slow response to the coronavirus outbreak right from the very beginning. Here’s the thing: as much as Gibney is a filmmaker to be respected in this field, his doc is based on a premise we know not to be true. The title, Totally Under Control, is taken from Trump’s own words about the potential virus spread. While at one time we could have chalked it up to incompetence or a simple misunderstanding of the deadly threat, we know from recordings of Trump that he knew exactly how bad it was, how bad it was going to be, and he deliberately misled us.Nothing “went wrong”, as the synopsis says. The plan all along was to do nothing.

Anyway, Totally Under Control opens On Demand on October 13th, followed by Hulu a week later. Gibney has another doc tied to Trump, Agents of Chaos, out right now on HBO. The dude just doesn’t sleep.

SYNOPSIS: At this moment 190,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. From July 15 to August 31, the death toll was running at an average of 1000/day. That’s double the number of those who perished on 9/11 every week. The carelessly designed lockdowns and their long-lasting economic effects have led to massive job losses (23 million/14.7% in April), widespread hunger, dislocation and a runaway federal deficit. Had the federal government done its job properly – by following clear guidelines in place based on past pandemics – most of the death and destruction could have been avoided. While the current administration makes its claims for a job well done, the fact is that the US response to COVID-19 is one of the worst, with 4% of the world’s population and 21% of the deaths.

How did this happen?

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 almost 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?

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.