Director: Michael Moore
Release Date: 15.4.16
Text: Elinor Tessin
The year is 2016, and children in the USA are drinking water contaminated with lead and getting beaten up or shot by police officers. Donald Trump is a presidential candidate. In many parts of the world the word “USA” is no longer associated with Hollywood movies, fast food and football but with fear and death by drones. Maybe, say the army generals and political leaders of the USA, it’s time to try something new. Maybe it’s time to relinquish control to Michael Moore.
With this premise, “Where To Invade Next” explores other countries’ solutions to American problems; Michael Moore travels through the world and handpicks countries’ more positive achievements while not even pretending to examine the negative ones. Among these solutions: the Portuguese abolishment of drug offender persecution, French school lunches, Italian labor regulations, Norwegian prisons, and German health care.
While this strategy might not be the end of all our problems, it is sometimes eye-opening to see conventional truths being challenged. Finnish teachers say homework is obsolete and children should spend little time in class, and their schools are the best in the world; Norwegian prisons try to rehabilitate their inmates instead of punishing them, and their recidivism rate is one of the lowest globally; Portuguese police officers want to help drug addicts and not arrest them, and drug deaths and crime are decreasing.
Moore’s point, in the end, is that at least some of these ideas originally came from the USA and were then recognized and implemented abroad, functioning well. But, he reasons, it is not too late to steal those ideas back. And while not all of these concepts might work in all environments, they do show that radical ideas can work, and that widely accepted notions can be very, very wrong.