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Review: Where to Invade Next (TIFF 2015)

Where to Invade Next (TIFF 2015)
09.13.2015
8 10

PLOT: Michael Moore's latest documentary takes a comical look at the progressive social policies of some of Europe's most productive countries, with Moore arguing the U.S should actively steal some of these ideas to increase ordinary Americans' quality of life.

REVIEW: Michael Moore is nothing if not divisive, but his latest doc, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, is one of the most non-confrontational, optimistic pieces of work he's ever done. Granted, Moore is nothing if not critical of the U.S. government, but as usual it's hard to argue with the man as he has a point. But, rather than simply make his case for how broken things are, Moore makes an earnest effort to seek out other ideas that have worked especially well in countries where the quality of life dwarfs that of the U.S simply due to some common-sense, both by their respective governments and the people themselves.

Many of the ideas on display here seem relatively easy for the U.S. to implement, with the catch being – as Moore states earlier on – that income taxes would have to increase for the wealthy. However, he makes the point that with things like medicare, free tuition, more vacation-time and more, citizens would actually wind-up wasting far less of their income on things that are considered a human right in places like Italy, Norway, France and more.

Moore often uses humor to critique things like the U.S not making it illegal for employers to deny workers maternity leave or vacation time, with a particularly hip couple in Italy talking about how they dream of immigrating to the U.S., only to immediately change their tune once they realize they'd lose their six weeks of annual vacation time each year, or their “13th month” bonuses. Moore himself is taken aback when he gets a look at haute-cuisine kitchens in French schools (which serve even the poorest districts) or when he sees unsupervised prisoners in Norway swimming laps in the lake or working with knives.

It's the prison part of the film that proves to be especially insightful, with Moore learning that most developed countries outside of North America view prison as a means of rehabilitation rather than pure punishment. Dehumanization is something that's simply not acceptable in places like a Norweigian super-max prison where inmates start their sentence by watching a pop sing-along music video cover of “We Are the World” made by the guards (who are lovely people but horrible musicians).

The film does occasionally delve into serious waters, with the ultimate realization of how much better other developed countries have it being rather sobering. But, rather than turn this into a stern lecture, Moore makes the case that it really wouldn't take much for things to change in North America, with simple things being implemented, much as a need to decriminalize (but not legalize) drug use, with the case being made that drug users are sick more than anything, and that the prison systems in the States have turned into 21st century slavery.

Of course, WHERE TO INVADE NEXT won't convince Moore's critics – of which there are many. As always, the movie is as much about Moore himself than anything else, but his facts speak for themselves. If anything it gives us a glimpse at a way of life that truly looks achievable, if only the 1% in power would let it be so.

Source: JoBlo.com

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-1
10:58PM on 09/14/2015
The fact that this was even reviewed makes me laugh,

This man is a joke pure and simple, and if you cant find arguments in the things he says, then you've lost all credibility on this site in my eyes. The man is ignorant, and worse he manipulates the flow of information that he force feeds you, so that the weak minded viewers will just buy into it cause they think its fact.
The fact that this was even reviewed makes me laugh,

This man is a joke pure and simple, and if you cant find arguments in the things he says, then you've lost all credibility on this site in my eyes. The man is ignorant, and worse he manipulates the flow of information that he force feeds you, so that the weak minded viewers will just buy into it cause they think its fact.
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9:45PM on 09/14/2015
Actually it's easy to argue with the man because he's an uneducated idiot and worse, a liar.

Anyone who buys his moronic schtick has checked their brain in at the door.

If the quality of life in the U.S. is dwarfed by the quality of life in other countries, then why are all these immigrants trying to get here rather than those other countries?

I really wish college would teach students to use their brains rather than parrot mindless rhetoric.

The more amusing aspect of all of this
Actually it's easy to argue with the man because he's an uneducated idiot and worse, a liar.

Anyone who buys his moronic schtick has checked their brain in at the door.

If the quality of life in the U.S. is dwarfed by the quality of life in other countries, then why are all these immigrants trying to get here rather than those other countries?

I really wish college would teach students to use their brains rather than parrot mindless rhetoric.

The more amusing aspect of all of this is that Europe has been able to engage in their dangerous experiments in soc ialism because the U.S. has provided their defense. But with the current President's military reductions and withdrawals, those days are now over. It'll be interesting to see if European culture can survive the cultural invasion they are currently under, now that we're not in a position to bail them out of their experiments in socialism, as we have previously in two world wars.

His facts may speak for themselves. But as always his facts are purely manufactured nonsense.
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+1
3:23PM on 09/14/2015
Bowling for Columbine I think was a great well researched doc.
The rest have mostly been fantasy work!
Bowling for Columbine I think was a great well researched doc.
The rest have mostly been fantasy work!
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11:37AM on 09/14/2015

I'm a Skeptic on Documentaries

I haven't seen this yet, so I won't be critical of it here, but when watching documentaries, the constant question I ask myself is, "what are they not telling me?" "What is inconvenient to their viewpoint, that they are hiding, or simply avoided in their research?"
I haven't seen this yet, so I won't be critical of it here, but when watching documentaries, the constant question I ask myself is, "what are they not telling me?" "What is inconvenient to their viewpoint, that they are hiding, or simply avoided in their research?"
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3:08PM on 09/14/2015
These questions are especially important to take into account when watching one of Michael Moore's so-called "documentaries."
These questions are especially important to take into account when watching one of Michael Moore's so-called "documentaries."
+0
9:16AM on 09/14/2015
So prison shouldn't be a punishment, it should be about curing the poor criminal. Cause if someone brutally murders people, I for one would hope that they would sing pop songs and live a great life being healed. While their victims never get to live their lives, and their families are forever torn apart.
So prison shouldn't be a punishment, it should be about curing the poor criminal. Cause if someone brutally murders people, I for one would hope that they would sing pop songs and live a great life being healed. While their victims never get to live their lives, and their families are forever torn apart.
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9:31AM on 09/14/2015
He just said "prisonners", no one said anything about rapists or murderers...
He just said "prisonners", no one said anything about rapists or murderers...
3:11PM on 09/14/2015
451-1138, from the way you spell, I can tell you're definitely one of Michael Moore's idiot sheeple.
451-1138, from the way you spell, I can tell you're definitely one of Michael Moore's idiot sheeple.
3:52PM on 09/14/2015
H-Man, From the way you bark redneck assumptions and seem to think the whole world should speak English perfectly, what do you think I can tell about you?

As-tu aussi deviné que je suis Français et que le seul film de Michael Moore que j'ai vu est Bowling For Columbine? Et toi, combien de langues maîtrises-tu parfaitement?
H-Man, From the way you bark redneck assumptions and seem to think the whole world should speak English perfectly, what do you think I can tell about you?

As-tu aussi deviné que je suis Français et que le seul film de Michael Moore que j'ai vu est Bowling For Columbine? Et toi, combien de langues maîtrises-tu parfaitement?
8:34AM on 09/14/2015
Thank you for reviewing Where to Invade Next. I have been looking forward to this movie. A person is glad to read that the film is actually good.
Thank you for reviewing Where to Invade Next. I have been looking forward to this movie. A person is glad to read that the film is actually good.
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