Film Review – Where to Invade Next
Where to Invade Next
In general, I am a fan of Michael Moore. His documentaries bring to our attention something that our country really needs to focus on and correct. Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and Capitalism: A Love Story are all excellent examples of what he can do with a politicized hot topic. Fast forward six years and Moore has decided to show Americans what we are lacking in social services with Where to Invade Next.
Where to Invade Next is basically Michael Moore going around to different countries and highlighting something great that it has that the United States does not. This documentary is made to make you jealous. The first country visited is Italy, and they have more vacation time than us, two hour lunches, and paid, lengthy maternity leave. Other countries Moore highlights are France, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Tunisia, and Iceland. The shtick is that he plants a flag and says he is taking that service and making it ours. If only it could actually happen.
The doc is filled with Moore’s matter of fact narration and infusing some comedy into the situations. Moore’s look on his face when he hears about some things these countries get that we do not is priceless and pretty much replicates every audience member’s face seeing the doc. Sometimes the comedy is unintentional, like when Moore brings up Portugal’s perks. In Portugal, there are no drug arrests. Moore uses this to point out how the white, male government in the US has used drug arrests of black males to suppress voting and make it another version of slavery. Are you kidding me? I know he is an extreme Democrat, but good lord, that made me roll my eyes. It is a statement and view that can turn your audience off to everything else you have to say and should have been left on the cutting room floor.
While Moore highlights all of these great things these countries have that we do not, it would have made for a more well-rounded documentary to point out a few things that the US has that these countries do not. While Tunisian women and girls have better access to female health care and reproductive rights than the US, they are still struggling in other areas. Even if he just threw a list up on the screen at the end of each country’s highlight, I would have liked how everything was presented more.
Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next has pointed out areas that the United States need to improve on. While we see ourselves as the greatest country on Earth, it does not mean we don’t have room for improvement. Our education, prison systems, and health care all are lacking in comparison to these featured countries, and this should rile up some envy and anger. If that happens, Moore has done his job once again. While he has some clear missteps on the road to showing us what we are missing, the documentary is a worthy watch for everyone living in the United States, just expect some scoffs and eye rolls with the pangs of jealousy.