Michael Moore's 'Where to Invade Next' is Hilarious and Eye-Opening
Back after six-years, the baseball hat wearing controversial documentarian Michael Moore returns with one of his most hilarious and eye-opening films to date. Moore is on a mission, a full-forced moral obligation to 'steal' what he believes are the best social, health and educational ideas from many countries around the world — all of whom Moore believes are way ahead of the United States.
Moore has a reputation of making outrageously powerful films that evoke strong reactions, all set against cultural difficulties we are all living through or can relate with. Where to Invade Next may not have the same slap in the face impact as Fahrenheit 9/11 or his Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine, and it does lack those bonafide villains, like gunmakers, the Bush administration and GM CEO Roger Smith from his debut effort Roger & Me, but it still manages to push emotions of anger and disappointment.
Where to Invade Next shows Moore has certainly evolved as a filmmaker: he may be a little gentler round the edges and less polarising this time around, but the premise of America's social failings are front and centre, and that's enough to keep us onside. Moore's presence is dominant throughout, which is always a pleasurable watch. His humour chugs this documentary along nicely as he questions if America are educating their people wisely. He visits many European countries on a quest to take their good ideas and deliver them to the American people.
There is an infusion of worthy ideas on offer, too. Italian industries allow their employees eight-weeks paid vacation. Moore also suggests Italians always look happy, in love and having lots of sex — a great example of the humour on offer. Moore proves Tunisia empowers its women; Portugal decriminalises drugs; Germany teaches their children to never forget their countries past regarding genocide and the Holocaust; and the French give their children balanced gourmet diets at school — with water not fizzy drinks. All of these ideas are very relevant and clear that a change of outlook and approach can work when given a chance to succeed. There's a question that constantly hangs over this movie: maybe sometimes we need to look ourselves in the mirror?
Moore's solutions to America's problems hold much weight but don't exactly hit home as hard as they did in his previous films. Moore does bang on about how America demonises its drug trade on the Black population by putting them in prison a little too much. In one sense he's still correct, whilst on the other hand, it's a threadbare and overused argument on the problem nowadays. There are other issues revolving demonising races that need to be addressed, too. Having said that, Where to Invade Next is jam-packed with valid ideas that many countries, not just the United States, could benefit a lot from. We can all learn from one another, because at the end of the day, we're all human beings and none of us are perfect. Societies evolve daily and we're forever changing how we live our lives.