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WHERE TO INVADE NEXT

SYNOPSIS: Michael Moore plays the role of 'invader', visiting a host of nations including Italy, France, Germany, Norway, Iceland and Tunisia to commandeer policies and ideas that will improve prospects in America. What he finds is that the solutions to America's most entrenched problems already exist in the world-they're just waiting to be captured.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Imagine school without homework, yet better education results; imagine drug use decriminalized, yet less drug use; imagine prisons without jail cells or armed guards, yet no violence among inmates; imagine extensive paid holidays and a 13th month of pay at Christmas, yet hardly more taxation.... It takes Michael Moore to show America that these and other social benefits can be had, just across the Atlantic. American should have them, too, he suggests, which is why he is stealing back these concepts that were originally born in America.

This is a thought provoking and often funny exercise in Michaelmania (the softer version of megalomania), although not entirely without Moore's propensity to misrepresent things - such as his advice to a young Italian couple (who enjoy endless holidays on full pay) that workers don't get paid holidays in the USofA.

There are many other arguments one could mount as to the film's rationality and lack of global context, but that would miss the point. This is only a partly serious effort to expound on America's flaws. The most blistering ones are perhaps displayed on his visits to Iceland, where women have shown how to behave like responsible adults, and Norway where deprivation of freedom in jail is considered enough of a punishment without any of the 'cruel and unusual' punishments demanded by the US Constitution that are dispensed to prisoners in America.

Moore is right to point the finger at America's social policy failures with examples of how things could be done better, even if he puts himself firmly at the centre of the film as an advocate, not as the reporter. Still, it shows he is passionate about what he preaches, that these shortcomings should be eliminated in the world's richest, most powerful country. I am not a full blown Michael Moore fan at all, but I recognize a stirring piece of home video when I see one.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT (M)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Documentary featuring Michael Moore

PRODUCER: Michael Moore, Carl Deal, Tia Lessin

DIRECTOR: Michael Moore

SCRIPT: n/a

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rick Rowley, Jayme Roy

EDITOR: Pablo Proenza, Todd Woody Richman, Tyler H. Walk

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a

RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 7, 2016







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