Europe as a philanthropic paradise? Not a very simple conclusion to swallow for those who followed news last six months. But that’s because the premise of Michael Moore’s first film in seven years, one that assumes the plojiga the idea that he will embark on a one-man invasion to countries that work better than the home to steal their world view. The starting gun goes in the leave-loving Italy, continues through countries like Finland (one of the best primary schools), Slovenia (free university education), Norway (human penitentiary), Portugal (avkriminaliserad drug use) with the resolution of the feminist Island. And a trip to Tunisia, where there are state abortion clinics. Moore takes on all this exoticism with its typical hobby anthropological style, with a camera that greedily snap up all his incredulous faces: Eight weeks of vacation? Paid during maternity leave? Really?
In many ways feels “Where to invade next” as a contribution to the US electoral campaign, one which turned up tone are legion and where abortion law and paid parental leave are two central issues. Maybe that’s why it feels a bit half-baked. Most in Germany starting for example with a visit to a cozy pencil factory to demonstrate that it has a prosperous middle class, but Moore uses wings to quickly switch over to a reasoning that each country has its original sin: the Germans confront daily, its history, says he, and illustrates with clips from classrooms, a Leni Riefenstahl film and the monument to the Holocaust. The US is a country built on genocide and slavery, he continues, but where are the Americans’ desire for penance? It is an interesting question, but Moore leaves it on his little tendentious manner hanging in the air.
Someone cool, balanced portrayer, he has certainly never been. Moore’s style is rather cut out of a contemporary media that plays on emotions. That in itself is no reason to dismiss his work, but it is important to remember, he is as much populist as documentary filmmakers, for the benefit of the dramaturgical schwunget but not necessarily the reality extension. Not least the section of Italy’s generous vacation and extralönskultur creak precariously: Italy is difficult indebted and has been in a recession for several years, and then it does not help that Moore excuse his peppy angle with “I’m here to pick the flowers, not the weeds “. As pamphlet film for humanity’s “Where to invade next” certainly effective, but it would have required considerably more barbed wire in eurofluffet.
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