American activist and filmmaker Michael Moore — famous for Fahrenheit 9/11 (the highest-grossing documentary at the American box office of all time), which examined the then U.S. president George W. Bush’s War on Terror and Bush’s links to Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden — is back with Where to Invade Next, a provocative comedy that examines European countries’ (Italy, France, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Tunisia, and Iceland) way of dealing with social and economic ills to show how the U.S. could improve its own prospects.
The Mint Press News reports:
“Moore opens “Where to Invade Next” with the satirical premise of advising military generals at the Pentagon on which countries have ideas America should steal next. Just as the U.S. tried to steal Iraq’s oil after the 2003 invasion, Moore has a list of countries with policies the U.S. should take. If the military seizes control of these policies and informs the American people these are American ideas, the policies are likely to be supported and adopted by Americans.
“Although Moore demonstrates through his tour of countries that America is not so exceptional, his film is not intended to leave audiences feeling dejected and cynical. The film is about solutions, and he infuses the film with vigorous optimism. There is absolutely no reason why U.S. citizens cannot have the same level of social welfare these countries provide to their citizens. But, in order to achieve such gains, a struggle must be waged.
The conceit of Where to Invade Next is that Moore “invades” each country and steals their best policies for the U.S. to compensate for decades of expensive failed military campaigns.
He starts the film with Italy, where workers are well taken care of with eight weeks of paid holiday, 15-day paid honeymoon, thirteenth salary, two-hour lunch breaks, paid parental leave, and strong unions. Thereafter, he highlights how schoolchildren feast on four-course dinners in France, how prisons in Norway look nicer than an average New England hostelry, and how Iceland blows the U.S. away when it comes to women in politics.
However, before Moore goes on the war path through countries to snatch up ideas, adds The Mint Press News, the audience is shown a montage reflecting all the worst aspects of the United States: a Vietnam veteran freezes in his home; voter suppression; police beat up black children at a pool party; Eric Garner is put in a choke-hold and killed by New York police; school districts ask parents to buy toilet paper for students; banks foreclose on soldiers’ homes while they’re deployed in Iraq; Dr. George Tiller, an abortion doctor, is assassinated; Ferguson, Missouri, is under police siege as they protest the fact that Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson.
Moore tells Fortune:
“So, the conceit of the film is that these countries have already done the trial and error, they’ve done the research, the R&D, for how to do daycare, for how to do a prison system where you don’t have a high recidivism rate. They’ve figured this out, so let’s just go steal their ideas. That way, we don’t have to do any of the research, because they’ve already done it.”
This film brilliantly & beautifully shows what is fantastic about Europe. It’s a superb film. https://twitter.com/wheretoinvade/status/741665492549664768 …
Where to Invade Next is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and on-demand services.
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