Everyone knows the world is riddled with issues. What interested Michael Moore in his simplest documentary Where To Invade Next is the public perception that some systems are so fixed and deeply ingrained that not even the most innovative and optimistic industry leaders would ever be able to improve Quality of Life in America. Moore cheekily raids and “steals” the legislative assets of countries across Europe primarily and suggests that life for everyone, not just America, really could be so much better.
It’s actually fascinating how the world works. The statistics are publicly available for just about every anthropological aspect of life in most countries of the world, good and bad: unemployment rates, economy strength, educational fortitude, ecological impact, mental health awareness… some countries handle these issues perfectly, but how? Furthermore, in this technological era where communication is often too easy, why haven’t we all cherry-picked from one another yet?
Using America and American history as a yardstick, Moore travels to Italy, Germany, Fra.. Moore heads to foreign non-English speaking lands to hear first hand from the people, the professionals, the police, the politicians on why they think they’re doing it right. The way he provokes people to share is funny and engaging to the interviewees and to me as a Brit but deprecating and shameful on America (Moore does not invade the UK though, worrying). He’s amazed at the structure of schooling in Finland and their quadrilingual students; the open-minded and powerful female figures in Iceland and Tunisia among so much else. Interwoven with embarrassing footage of American brutality and intolerance Moore’s morals are untarnished and anecdotally resounded idealistically but not unrealistically by everyone the camera points at.
Moore’s pondering of why place A is better for X than place B never delves deeper than the the people and situations he finds himself in; there’s limited number crunching, charts and infographics (more useful in Inside Job for example) which solidifies the idea that change is always more straight-forward than they want you to think and it comes from, and is ultimately for, the people.
This film is not just for the dispirited youth or millennial hipster. It’s for anyone who’d like things to be different and who’s hopeful that by pulling together we can ultimately make the world a community again.
Good grief, have I become Russell Brand?