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In “Where to Invade Next” Michael Moore sets out to tell his fellow Americans what most of us already suspect: America is not the middle class paradise that Americans are led to believe. It’s actually a long way down the table on healthcare, looking after the homeless, prison reform and other basic benefits that wealthy first world countries are expected to provide for its citizens.
Moore plays the role of American “invader”, visiting a host of nations including Italy, France, Germany and Tunisia to commandeer policies and ideas that will improve prospects in America. What he finds is that solutions to America’s most entrenched problems already exist in the world – they’re just waiting to be captured.
What results is a powerful film, with Moore turning his anger at the failings of American government into the unique brand of incisive humor that made him famous. “Where to Invade Next” is his first film since “Capitalism: A Love Story” six years ago -an indictment of US economic systems that ties well thematically with his latest documentary.
Had Moore come to Australia he may have been surprised to find a country that is becoming more like America – a place where the rich are getting richer and the middle class are becoming the new poor. Yet there are important things that America can learn from Australia – gun laws for instance; and about why allowing teachers and kids to bring their guns to school might not be wise…but then Moore’s early film, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE showed up the high proportion of gun nuts in the USA.
Filming across Europe, one reporter from Crave noted that, considering Moore’s profile, there had been little press coverage of his exploits. Moore explained that there had been press coverage in Europe, but none of it has made it to the US, proving his point about the need to bring foreign news and ideas to American audiences: “It was such a great, sad education in the state of our media, and how it literally knows nothing about the rest of the world and doesn’t have the manpower to go and cover the rest of the world as it should be doing.”
“Where to Invade Next” may be Moore’s most provocative, subversive and hilarious film yet. Love him or loathe him, Michael Moore is a legend in American doc making – and we’d love to see more Aussie filmmakers with his breed of chutzpah.