The two-part documentary Bosom Bullies: Trump and Putin recounts the labyrinth of accusations and evidence that may shed light on the complex relationship shared between two of the globe's most consequential leaders.
The Russia story has dominated the first term of President Donald Trump and has been readily dismissed by both leaders. But watchdogs have long been laser focused on what they believe are the tell-tale signs of collusion. The filmmakers certainly spend time outlining these charges, but the film largely revolves around the similarities between the two men, and how they may bridge the gaps of history to mutual advantage in the future.
Part one opens with a brief history of U.S. and Russia relations, which had intensified significantly during the Obama administration. Warning signs pointed to another Cold War.
As evidenced by the clips presented in the film, Russia made their preference for Trump known prior to election night through their state media. The two men shared some of the same enemies. Their proponents respond favorably to each leader's love of bluster and provocation.
The scrutiny only intensified following Trump's election. The FBI made it their mission to investigate the notion of collusion and meddling as fully as possible. Conspiracy charges were issued against a slew of Russian players. The film covers the imprisonment of various Trump confidantes in relation to the investigations as well. This ongoing dynamic has divided Americans along political lines and aggravated the power structure in Moscow.
The filmmakers are as delicate as possible in attempting to give voice to both sides of the argument. It relies on an irrefutable timeline of events, as well as insights supplied by reporters and insiders who represent both the American and Russian perspectives. Some of the interview subjects claim the cries of meddling are ridiculous while others see real fire among the smokey veils of suspicion.
A large portion of the content found in Bosom Bullies: Trump and Putin consists of the headlines that have plastered newspapers and television media for several years. But there is instructive value in witnessing all the pieces of the puzzle interlocked to form a larger, more cohesive narrative.