Michael Moore’s latest movie Where to Invade Next may inspire a new generation of American expats. Or, as Moore intends, it will spur a clarion call for upgraded human rights here in the United States. From the movie trailer:
My Mission? I will invade countries (with names I can mostly pronounce), take the things we need from them, and bring it all back home… because we have problems no army can solve.
— Michael Moore
A Controversial Take on America?
Common Dreams is quite supportive of Moore’s Where to Invade next.
Filmmaker Michael Moore on Friday is launching the national release of his new documentary Where to Invade Next, which is said to be both his happiest and “most subversive” movie yet.
In the film, Moore travels to countries throughout Europe and also Tunisia to “pry loose from them the tools they’ve been using to make their countries happy, shiny places,” he writes, with the goal of “show millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us.” Such tools range from eight weeks paid vacation in Italy, to a year of paid maternity leave in Scandinavia, to women with “true equality and power” in Tunisia, to trusting prisons in Norway.
— Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams
The National Review didn’t think Where to Invade next was funny. Nor does it like Moore’s comedic “progeny.” (All the guys I love!)
Billed as “A New Comedy,” Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next is ungenerous and condescending. Those unfunny characteristics typify propaganda just as they also describe the sorry state of contemporary political humor, which has declined in this millennium, and Moore is largely to blame. Since his first distorted documentary, Roger and Me, in 1989, he’s used stridency, partisanship, and snark to despoil an art form and demean political discourse.
Moore’s jovial pretense is immediately divisive. He starts with a satirical proposition about American foreign policy: “On January 2, I was quietly summoned to the Pentagon to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Each branch was represented: the Army, the Air Force, the Marines. ‘Michael,’ they said, ‘we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing.’” His casual anti-military jibe introduces the film’s premise: Moore, the bumptious American, visits global sites of bloodless social revolution: Finland, Norway, Iceland, Italy, France, Slovenia, Tunisia, Portugal. He seeks counterpoints to what the United States has repeatedly done wrong. Where to Invade Next is millionaire Moore’s goofball imitation of President Obama’s 2009 European trunk show, which has been described as an apology tour.
No matter that Moore’s anti-Americanism turns into sentimental patriotism at the film’s other end — both positions are shallow, and neither is credible. Moore’s only distinction as a maker of documentaries (mockumentaries, really — mocking the idea of journalistic fairness and thorough reporting) is that he doesn’t care to be convincing. Like his imperious TV progeny Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, Moore preaches to the choir.
— Armond White, National Review
It’s no secret. The United States has yet to make the Top Ten in the World Happiness Report. I imagine that is the simple point Moore is trying to emphasize with this film.
If you have seen Where to Invade Next – please leave your impressions in the comments. When I have a chance to see this film, I’ll give it a star rating.