Where to Invade Next? (2015, USA, d. Michael Moore, 119 Minutes)
by Robert Joseph Butler
The problem with Michael Moore is that his latest films like Capitalism: A Love Story, and now Where to Invade Next are overly simplistic. He uses the same exhausting methods of propaganda to support his one-sided world view. The opportunist leftist polemicist, author, pundit, and filmmaker has a biased and sheltered reverence for only thinking the state is the answer to the severe problems our country faces today.
As he did with Sicko, he goes on journeys to other European countries to compare how they have more improved systems than we do. He explores such systems as incarceration, school lunches, healthcare, the drug war, finance, and education. Never does Moore explore how these nations have far lower corporate tax rates than we do, and he fails to mention how these nations have smaller populations with GDP’s equal to the state of Maine.
While Moore embraces the successes of Europe, there is no mention of the severe debt crises where massive government spending and other forms of Keynesian economics always led Europe down a worm hole of huge deficits and inflation, huge spending, and high taxes. His documentary here is just anti-intellectual and flat out lazy propaganda.
For example, Moore travels to Italy to explore how their socialist laws that include a month’s paid vacation in addition to holidays, plus marriage and maternity leave all sound great on paper. However there is no mention of how these policies have contributed largely to Italy’s economic downfalls and high debt.
Michael Moore’s heart is in the right spot. He doesn’t by any means hate America as some of the detractors on the right claim. However he is a very lazy and dishonest filmmaker. He would have low information people believe that Americans receive no vacation at all, to score two weeks is “lucky”, and four weeks is just unheard of. This is very deceitful as we already know. He discusses that Germany learns from their past, yet the country continues the same Keynesian policies that have led to massive debt in Germany. Germany also suffers from massive xenophobia due to Germany’s broken immigration policies.
Moore even disingenuously compares Norway’s one mass killing spree to 9/11, which is like comparing apples to oranges. This is ultimately all what Moore’s new film is, a cherry picking analysis of other countries, while leaving the other nations demise and rattling economic problems out of the equation.
Where to Invade Next is just as passionate as his other films, but the effort just isn’t there. There are no rebuttals from anyone as there was in Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Big One, or Roger and Me, no gotcha moments, no critical thinking, just a softer and lazier Moore.
Robert Butler is an award-winning filmmaker whose most recent feature length movie, "Love Immortal," won Best Horror Feature Film at the 24th annual Indie Gathering International Film Festival. His favorite films include: Mulholland Dr., 2001: A Space Odyssey, Persona, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, Sunset Blvd., Lost in Translation, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, and Contempt.