Film Review: Where To Invade Next


I am a little late getting to Michael Moore’s latest film ‘Where to Invade Next’ but it was well worth the wait. A typically earnest and somewhat mischief Moore holds up the USA, (the greatest country on Earth), against a slew of various other countries (who are not the greatest) and finds the USA looking a little shabby if not paltry. In fact by the end of it I was convinced the good old USA was starting to look more like a retrograde ideological totalitarian regime than a modern progressive democracy and the comments from various leaders from far lesser countries seemed to confirm this.

A Female Icelandic CEO summed up the sentiment best with: “America confuses being most powerful with knowing everything. You do not know everything and looking at the way you treat your own people I am very happy not to live there. America is a ‘me’ society. Here (Iceland) it is all about ‘we’ and here ‘we’ look after each other and ‘we’ are all much better for it.”

I guess the most disturbing thing for me was examining my own country New Zealand (the worlds actual first progressive Social Democracy) against the worlds more progressive and prosperous nations. We are not doing too bad but our political leaders (especially on the conservative team) obsession with America’s economic model left me thinking wondering at the wisdom of that choice.

We have indeed embraced a ‘Me’ focused attitude over the last 35 years or so and we have replaced community focused ideals with the idea that the acquisition of personal wealth is the most important thing in life and the results speak for themselves: increasing child poverty, lack of housing, poor environmental management, lower wages and diminishing personal rights and so on. Fortunately we are a small and mobile society and a change of government and attitude could quickly turn this around so I live in hope.

“Where to Invade Next’ is thought provoking cinema for the progressively inclined that lifts the veil on the myth of the American dream and shows it up for what it is – a race where only a handful can possibly finish prosperous. Moore argues persuasively that the Socialist Democratic model (aka the EU, Scandinavia and Australasia) is far more successful method of delivering the promise of a decent life for the majority of people. Sure there will be fewer with lots (which goes against the American grain) but there will be many more with plenty and hardly anyone with nothing.

PS after watching numerous Moore films based in the US where he is ignored by CEOs, marched out by security and dodged by politicians, it is a real eye-opener to see him operating into the much more open and inclusive European environment.


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