Where To Invade Next, documentary review: ‘About how brilliant life is in Europe’

Michael Moore in Where To Invade Next

Michael Moore in Where To Invade Next - Credit: Archant

Weeks away from the big EU referendum, our noble choice between Project Fear and Project Nutter, here’s an unexpected intervention from Michael Moore, with a new film about how brilliant life in Europe is (and Iceland and Tunisia).

His latest jape is to pretend the Pentagon Chiefs of Staff have decided to abandon the idea of trying to improve the American way of life by waging costly wars.

Instead they have asked Moore to identify countries that have policies and ideas worth co-opting and go and invade them singlehandedly and claim their ideas.

So he goes to Italy for their generous holiday allowances; France for their quality school meals; Germany for factories with windows and ability to address their past crimes; Slovenia for their free university education; Portugal for abandoning the war on drugs; Iceland for its sexual equality and putting corrupt bankers in prison and Tunisia for its abortion clinics.

Of course, you’ll notice that he doesn’t visit Britain.

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Though the film is shaped as a message to Moore’s countrymen, every free market failing he identifies in the States goes just as much for us.

Particularly painful is the moment when teachers in Finland, the world’s No 1 education system, talk about how pointless SAT testing is.

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The film is an eminently sane examination of all the brain dead mistakes our free market roundheads have led us into over the last four decades, but because it’s Michael Moore it’s hard to trust,.

His cherry picking is so extreme and his presentation so overblown that he really does shoot himself in the foot.

You see these visions of utopian Italian and German factories, French schools and wonder how to square this with the chaotic view of Europe we have.

Like every Michael Moore film, you yearn for someone to follow him around and make a balanced, factual version of his polemic.

Also he’s really not funny any more, his slovenly appearance is annoying and the film is also far too long.

After an hour the point has been made and the rest is reiteration.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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