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Review: Where To Invade Next

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The concept here is that the indefatigable Michael Moore “invades” a swag of countries. “Instead of sending in the marines, send in me,” he says. Moore then finds their best and most successful ideas and policies, with the intention of taking them back to America to (hopefully) be adopted. Ironically, as both Moore and others point out, a lot of these concepts originated in the States, but have long since been abandoned there.

Moore covers a lot of ground in both senses of the phrase. Geographically, it involves Italy, France, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Iceland, and Tunisia. In the process, he interviews extraordinarily impressive people (a young Tunisian woman who speaks eloquently about America’s lack of interest in other countries; the magnificently fair-minded and dignified father of one of Anders Breivik’s shooting-spree victims) and showcases phenomena like Germany’s relentless confronting of its evil past, Portugal’s total abandonment of arrests for drug use, and Norway’s equally liberal jettisoning of revenge-based imprisonment. On the other hand, he also claims that the US devotes almost 60 per cent of its income tax revenue to military expenditure.

The problem with docos like this is that they risk redundancy by preaching to the converted. It’s hard to imagine, say, a Donald Trump supporter going to see Where To Invade Next…or being swayed by it even if they did. That said, and despite the odd moment of dewy-eyed banality, it’s really well made and researched, proffers a swag of interesting facts (some mindboggling, some touching, some inspiring, and some ghastly) and is definitely worth seeing.

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