I’ve been following Michael Moore’s career since 1989 when he released his breakout documentary, Roger & Me, which incidentally was one of film critic Roger Ebert’s favorites. Michael Moore won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2002 for Bowling for Columbine. He’s an accomplished writer, director, and producer, and someone conservatives love to hate.
We’ve waited six years for this, his most recent film, Where to Invade Next. It is rated R for language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity.
Michael has created another strong documentary feature, this time “invading” other countries to see what Americans can learn from them. I found this concept refreshing, as it focused on what other individuals and governments on the planet are doing right. It’s ultimately a hopeful film.
He utilizes his trademark humor much of the time. He had to use humor to balance out certain segments that were downright heartbreaking.
He admits early on that he is looking to pick the flowers, not the weeds, the things that are working and which set an example for excellence. Some critics have skewered him for this, saying it’s complicated; he’s ignoring the things that aren’t working, blah, blah, blah. Again, he said very clearly that he’s picking the flowers! Save the criticism for some other time. A film is not going to work or be cohesive if it’s not focused. Michael is focused.
And the examples he shows are astounding! He visits Europe, Scandinavia, and Africa, interviewing businessmen and women, political leaders, government officials and regular people. Children too.
You will see how Italy treats its employees, what France serves schoolchildren for lunch, and how Finland has the best educational system in the world.
Portugal was noted for decriminalization of drugs, Norway for the unique way they treat their prisoners, and Germany for the way they heal from the sins of their fathers in the holocaust (truly tear jerking, that segment).
Slovenia provides free college education, not just to citizens, but to foreigners as well. Tunisia is a leader in women’s rights, as is Iceland, who actually prosecuted and sent to prison those responsible for the financial corruption of the banks.
This film is one of the best Michael Moore has done. I attended the movie with three others and afterwards over dinner we asked each other, “If there was one idea from another country that we would like to see initiated in America, what would it be?” We each selected a different country’s example, showing that we are individuals with unique concerns for the welfare of individuals in our country. That was encouraging.
Because if everyone who saw this film asked themselves, “What is the one thing that spoke to me?” and then told others, started a discussion of what could be, and what steps would need to be taken to create this change, our country would be going in a positive direction.
I especially ask WOMEN to see this film. You’ll see why. Be inspired.