Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To show what the USA can learn from rest of the world, director Michael Moore playfully visits various nations in Europe and Africa as a one-man "invader" to take their ideas and practices for America. Whether it is Italy with its generous vacation time allotments, France with its gourmet school lunches, Germany with its industrial policy, Norway and its prison system, Tunisia and its strongly progressive women's policy, or Iceland and its strong female presence in government and business among others, Michael Moore discovers there is much that American should emulate.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When Moore is interviewing Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the first democratically-elected female president in the world, a mosaic shows all the women who have been elected by their countries since. On the bottom row it shows Jenny Shipley, who was not actually elected by the New Zealand people, but by the National Party when Jim Bolger was forced to resign. See more »
When Michael Moore is interviewing the former Iceland Prime Minister Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the first elected female president in the world, he says, since her time, "How many countries have elected ..." and there are many pictures of female leaders from around the world. One of those is former New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. While she was the country's first female Prime Minister, she was not elected. Shipley, in government at the time, convinced a majority of her party colleagues to back her bid for leadership, and overthrew the male Prime Minister of New Zealand at the time. She was not elected. See more »
I am an American. I live in a great country, that was born in genocide and built on the backs of slaves.
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At the end of the credits, we see a woman scaling a flagpole and cutting down a Confederate Battle Flag, while we hear a pair of men (presumably some sort of law-enforcement officers) requesting that she stop. Accompanying that scene are the words of Moore's battle cry: "Hammer. Chisel. Down." See more »
Your enjoyment will be in 100% accordance with your appreciation of Michael Moore
It was worth waiting nearly three hours in a rush line to catch a screening of this film at TIFF. Mike was there, and when he mentioned before the screening that he made this movie entirely with his own money because he wanted 100% control of it, my expectations were immediately elevated.
And definitely rewarded. Whatever your favorite Moore outing is, I can tell you that this film compares favorably to it. But what really made this a memorable experience for me was that after the movie, Moore invited the entire audience to a ticket-holders Q & A with drinks and refreshments at a pub close by. I had to skip the next movie on my docket in order to attend, but I sure wasn't going to miss this!
The movie might be called "Non-American Exceptionalism." In it, he "invades" a host of (mostly European) countries to "capture" their best ideas. These ideas turn out to be systems – be they economic, institutional, educational, penal, etc. – where desirable ends that could never be realized in America are par for the course. It can be a prosperous factory in Italy where the workers are well-paid and get fantastic benefits it can be the cost-effective school lunch program in France where kids get chef-made gourmet meals every day it can be the free college in Slovenia ... you get the gist. While Moore doesn't pretend that these countries have no problems (watch the right-wing media say otherwise), his examples certainly seem to be "winners" that he invites scrutiny of.
What's likely to be most controversial about this movie is one of the conclusions he draws: that systems seem to work better when women are involved in the decision-making process. When I asked him at the Q & A how he thought Fox was going to spin this film, he said that with the female-friendly theme, they'll probably say that it's a campaign commercial for Hillary. (For the record, his hero female politician is Elizabeth Warren).
Obviously, your potential enjoyment of this film is completely Moore-dependent. If you've ever enjoyed one of his provocateur films, you can put this one down as a sure thing; if you're one of his detractors, this will make you resent him all the more. Seeing this as a member of the former group and getting to attend a one-of-a-kind Q & A afterward definitely made this one of my all-time TIFF outings.
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