#REVIEW: “TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
The most difficult movies to write about and to recommend to the general population are Documentaries. To make matters even more challenging, the topic of TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL is the COVID-19 pandemic, our new normal. But in the skillful hands of the Oscar-winning Documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and his Co-Directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan, it is a scathing look of the mismanagement of this disease by the Trump administration in the U.S. It is important to note this Film is not about “Trump Bashing”, but it is a fascinating, straightforward documentation of the facts. The most remarkable achievement is that this Movie was completed one day before President Trump was diagnosed with the virus.
In a series of Talking Head interviews, TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL starts with American public health officials being made aware of circumstances happening in Wuhan to present day. It compares the handling of the crisis between the United States and South Korea. South Korea immediately took exceptional precautions and safety measures and, to date, only recorded approximately 500 deaths in a population of 51 million and never shutdown the country; a stark contrast to our neighbours down south.
The ineptitude of decisions made by the current administration is staggering. My head shook with indignant rage – more that a bobblehead would on a Quebec highway (believe me, I would know!). I learned that the idea of treating the virus with Hydroxychloroquine was first initiated with a social media post from Elon Musk. Volunteers hired by Jared Kushner (one of them being the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy) were sent down to work in basements where the TVs were permanently tuned-into Fox News and they were given no directions of what to do. The most heartbreaking story comes from Michael Bowen, an American manufacturer of medical supplies, whose numerous requests to the White House to provide N95 face masks, at a time when hospital workers were forced to use the same, disposable ones over and over again, were ignored. Moreover, I should have been shocked but really wasn’t, that no one currently in the Republican Party consented to be interviewed for the Documentary.
TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL leaves us asking this question: “When the day comes and we can finally take off our masks, will we be ready to fix what is really broken?” I hope so. And I really hope everyone sees one of the best movies of 2020.
Elevation Pictures release TOTALLY UNDER CONTROL on Digital and On-Demand Tuesday, October 13, 2020.