To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.
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.
- Art Snob
- Nov 4, 2015