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Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore-WTIN-680Just because this is one of Michael Moore’s most engaging
and audience-friendly films doesn’t mean that the enfant terrible of the
documentary world has gone soft. He uses irony and humor to make his points,
and while the results are less strident than some of his work they are no less
potent. 

His
"invasion" involves visiting various countries around the globe to
see what they’re doing right that we can’t seem to get the hang of here in the
U.S. Whether it’s serving tasty and nutritious school lunches or offering
quality college education for free, these countries have found a way to do
something meaningful. The results might seem Utopian but in fact are based on
practical realities. If, at times, it seems as if Moore might be stacking the
deck in order to make a point, he disarms us by showing the bigger picture, and
making something as complex as prison reform seem like an attainable goal. 

Of course,
most of the countries he visits—from France to Bulgaria to Iceland—are much
smaller than the United States, but their problems are just as challenging and
the answers they have found are downright inspiring. I won’t spoil Moore’s
ultimate finding as it’s one of the most poignant—and frustrating—elements of
the film. 

I’ve always
thought it incorrect to think of Michael Moore’s films as documentaries. I
consider them to be advocacy films or a form of personal journalism. At their
best they communicate ideas in ways that more conventional documentaries can’t.
Like Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story, Where to Invade Next leaves us with
food for thought and the hope that someday, somehow, rabble-rousers like Moore
will get us to listen and learn.

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