Review: Where to Invade Next
By John Corrado
★★★½ (out of 4)
The latest from prolific documentarian Michael Moore, Where to Invade Next is also one of his best films yet, having already found a place on my list of the finest documentaries of 2015, following its surprise festival premiere last year.
After being consulted by the American government on whether or not to send more troops overseas, the filmmaker is determined to go around the world and find different uses for tax dollars, instead of pouring more money into the military or oil industries.
This journey takes him to multiple different developed countries, mostly in the European Union, “invading” them as a one man army trying to find the best ideas to bring back to America. This includes paid vacation time for workers in Italy, bountiful school lunches and sex-positive education in France, an amazing school system in Finland, and gender equality in Iceland.
Through interviews with different citizens and lawmakers from these countries, Michael Moore touches on a lot of social and political issues throughout this always engaging film, including prison reform, women’s rights, decriminalizing street drugs, and prosecuting bankers for fraud. The filmmaker offers plenty of food for thought in his exploration of these progressive social changes, and the rewards that have been reaped in return. The film not only showcases some of his finest comic antics, but also his most gutting dramatic moments, including a truly haunting use of “We Are the World.”
Although bound to be one of Michael Moore’s most divisive films, I took a lot away from it. Entertaining, surprisingly moving, and ultimately profoundly optimistic for a brighter future, Where To Invade Next is Michael Moore at his best and most inspiring, offering a resonant reminder that the power to make a positive difference in the world lies within us all as individuals.