Unfortunately, this eagerly awaited documentary from Michael Moore falls flat on its face within the first 30 minutes. It hops from one topic to another, never lets the audience know what it’s about and, after two hours of cinematic navel gazing, it’s unlikely they care.
‘Where to Invade Next’ starts off in Italy and then catapults to Germany, Denmark, France, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Lisbon. Tunisia, Slovenia and Sweden, covering topics from school lunches to capital punishment. Each time Moore leaves a country, he presents his host with an American flag and, by the look on the hosts’ faces, they’re as confused as me about the reason for this gift.
Moore’s first fact-finding mission is in Italy, which is as compelling to watch as it is revealing. Factory workers and business owners share with Moore the minutiae of their joyful lives, which include too many benefits to mention, but top of the list is eight weeks annual paid vacation. When Moore informs the Italians about the derisory US allowance, they refuse to believe him. When they are finally convinced, they simply shake their heads in horror at the lot of the American worker.
At this point, Moore really seems to be on to something, but the flame is quickly extinguished and he shies away from what could have been the seed of the next US Revolution. Instead, he chooses to tap dance across the border to France to discuss the earth-shattering importance of cheese. Yes, really.
The most puzzling aspect of this story is Moore’s decision to include Tunisia in his itinerary. Here, a woman explains how many opportunities she has had since the revolution. Now if there’s one thing American women are good at, it’s muscling their way to the front, and with the imminent arrival of one in the White House, what was Mr. Moore thinking? Perhaps he simply wanted a vacation in North Africa, and including this destination made it an expenses paid trip, which feeds the claims that what used to be a working class mouthpiece, has grown into a closet Capitalist.
This would also explain why Moore chose not to expose all the other inequities millions of hard working Americans have to endure, and instead sets out to prove that everything he’s been saying for years is correct. This sounds incredibly self-indulgent, but isn’t that the point of making yourself extremely rich?
Where to Invade NextWhere to Invade Next
December 23, 2015 (limited)