Our New President ★★★

You might not believe the current administration sought help from Russia in manipulating the 2016 presidential election, but Maxim Pozdorovkin’s documentary certainly makes it clear that Russia thinks it gave that help. Pozdorovkin goes both on screen and behind the scenes to explore the way Russia’s state-controlled media pushed an anti-Hillary/pro-Trump agenda both to its own citizens and on outlets that had influence around the globe, repeating Clinton conspiracy theories and even selling Trump’s victory as the rags-to-riches story of “a troubled teenager from Brooklyn.” It’s the kind of stuff that would be hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating, offering insight into the Fox News model when Dmitry Kiselyov, head of Russia’s news agency, tells his newsroom in blunt terms that “objectivity is a myth.” The scenes of actual Russian news broadcasts are so mesmerizing in their bald-faced agenda-peddling that it’s frustrating how much time Our New President spends on videos made by everyday Russian citizens celebrating Trump. Once you get the point that this propaganda has worked—and we’re living in the world that won’t let us forget it—you don’t need three or four separate YouTube creations by folks sharing their personal ballads to The Donald.