By Liz Lopez

Rating: A

When I first heard the title of the new documentary written, produced, and directed by Michael Moore, Where to Invade Next, I could not help but think the film is all about the wars the U.S. has been involved in. Many people who walk up to the theater without reading about this film ahead of time might avoid it at the onset of the Valentine’s Day weekend. On the contrary, I am recommending this as a “must see” documentary to have your eyes opened to see what so many countries are doing and how they are succeeding in terms of education, nutrition, their healthcare system, vacations from work, and other issues that are vastly different from the way it is handled in the USA. The great thing is how Moore presents the story to the viewer – informative and with his humor – and keeps them engaged. It is not dry and drab. It is thought provoking and hopefully will inspire us to pursue what can be done to change what systems currently exist across our states.

During his youth, Moore traveled to Sweden and after an injury, learned at the clinic where he was treated that they have a healthcare system that required no payment. His continued travel during his youthful journey in Europe yielded more experiences that he found to be very different, but stayed with him several decades later. More recently, he met the Education Minister of Finland and learned from her about what they are doing for the children and how it works. For his documentary, Moore travels from country to country interviewing their leaders, as well as real people who talk about their systems, not actors. There is a scene with an Italian couple who state they have their honeymoon paid for (15 days) and scenes with employers who totally agree with a system that has staff with less stress. Moore also reminisces with a friend from his youth along the Berlin Wall, and there are other great cinematic moments that I recommend, as they have the potential to leave the viewers with much to ponder.

And ladies, there is much to learn about how many women in other countries actually have power in their governments and in boards, including Iceland, Norway, Germany, as opposed to the small percentage here. It is an eye – opener and will be interesting to see how it may inspire this gender.

Where to Invade Next was an Official Selection in many film festivals stateside and internationally, as well as served as the Opening /Closing Night film at several. It is the Audience Award Winner at the Hamptons International Film Festival, as well as Winner of the Audience Award (Doc) and Founder’s Award at Chicago International Film Festival.

Moore’s first film, Roger & Me (1989), was followed by documentary box office record breaking films,  the 2002 Academy Award®-winning film Bowling for Columbine and the Palme d’Or-winning Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004). Moore also directed the Oscar-nominated Sicko (2007) and Capitalism: A Love Story (2009).

Where to Invade Next is available at the Alamo Drafthouse theaters and the Arbor Cinema, opening on February 12th.                                                 TRAILER:


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