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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Humanity Lesson
by Betty Jo Tucker

An invasion by Michael Moore

various countries had in store

for this documentary flick.

Moore’s humor makes the movie click.


His goal? To steal from other folks

their best ideas while he jokes.

He journeys far to many lands

and learns about successful plans.


He hopes to bring these plans back here

to help solve problems causing fear.    

As always in a Moore movie,

he makes us think and laugh and see.     


Where To Invade Next should be seen

by everyone, that’s what I mean.

Even people who don’t agree

will learn about humanity.  

I always look forward to a Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine) documentary, and Where To Invade Next did not disappoint me. But it was not what I expected. The title made me think Moore would be dealing satirically with which new countries the U.S. should invade. Instead, he takes the high road by looking into the successful way several nations handle important areas like education, employment, prisons, and so forth -- even school lunches.

Countries visited by Moore include Germany, Italy, Slovenia, France, Tunisia, Portugal, Iceland, Norway and Finland. Surprising findings impress this intrepid invader. For example, Slovenia offers free university tuition, even to foreigners; in Germany, small companies pay big wages to make the workers happy and more productive; in Italy, employees are given extensive paid vacations; Norway’s prisons are more like high quality retirement homes; and in France, children are served gourmet school lunches. Plus, where women are involved in the decision-making process, it seems to be the key to success. So Moore plants a USA flag in each of these countries while pledging to take the ideas back home.

But here’s the rub. Would it be possible to adopt such humanistic approaches in a country where one-tenth of one percent of the population owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent? Ironically, many of those “foreign” ideas actually originated in the United States. Where did we go wrong? The high cost of implementing programs like these boggles the mind of most politicians -- and raising taxes seems out of the question at this time. And yet, the acclaimed filmmaker exudes optimism here instead of his usual cynicism.                   

Highlights in Where To Invade Next are Moore’s fascinating and eye-opening interviews. I think this ends up being one his best documentaries so far -- but he’s made seven others that are almost as informative and entertaining.      

(Released by Dog Eat Dog Films and rated “R” for language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity.)

For more information about Where To Invade Next, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.  

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