Documentary Film Reviews, Making Documentaries, and Nonfiction Storytelling


michael-moore-02Where To Invade Next is a documentary you won’t forget once you see it. With humor and insight Michael Moore again provides us with food for thought, literally in one instance and figuratively in other ways. This is an important next documentary by Michael Moore after SICKO made about six years ago. This time though Michael Moore takes on a mission, apparently sanctioned by top Pentagon military experts, to invade other countries, win a war and bring back important ideas.Where-to-Invade-Next

Where To Invade Next is a documentary everyone, especially Americans, should see and think about. It is fast paced, well-edited and explores issues that are topical and of great importance to the survival of the United States and perhaps some other countries as well. Michael Moore is at his peak in actuality storytelling with humor and seriousness when necessary. Where To Invade Next doesn’t say other countries are perfect or better than the USA. It just goes after their best ideas and asks the question why not try these ideas in the USA. Why can’t these concepts work in the USA?

Many issues and ideas are explored in Italy, France, Finland, Slovenia (not Slovakia), Germany, Portugal, Norway, Tunisia, and Iceland. These ideas and issues are compared to what is done in the United States.   What is revealed is shocking and mind altering. It becomes crystal clear that somehow the people of the United States, the richest, most powerful country in the world, are missing the boat when it comes to taking care of its citizens on many fronts.


Since Franklin Roosevelt rescued this country from pure capitalism and the depression era, with social reforms, there has been a concerted effort by far right capitalists (the same ones that wrecked the stock market and the country in the late 1920’s and 1930’s) and others, to stop any type of social progress in the United States. They have succeeded in many ways, time and time again, to this day. Where To Invade Next reminds us that social, government enacted legislation benefits all classes of people. These benefits and reforms not only work, they often end up costing tax payers less and helping all people lead a happier, more secure life.

Where To Invade Next is a not too subtle reminder of what the middle and working class people of the United States have been deprived of while many European countries and others have moved ahead with progressive notions on health care, education, equal rights for women, workers rights, drug abuse, prison reform, and family planning. In addition how other countries have dealt with major past problems in their cultures so that they can move on and not repeat the same mistakes. But these types of reforms only happen when citizens demand it by protesting and voting for candidates or parties that advocate basic social amenities for all people.

In typical Michael Moore style he interviews people and visually shows how they live and how their approach to various social solutions work. Michael Moore turns the old Duck Soup line around and asks, …are you going to believe what you see or what the propaganda machine in the US in telling you? Where To Invade Next asks why many other countries have free college education, nutritious food in schools, do not arrest people for drug use, have prison systems that rehabilitate, encourage people to vote, have successful family planning, women’s rights and a basic bill of rights for working, middle-class people.

One interesting fact, among the many, that Where To Invade Next brings to light, is the fact that many of these ideas and concepts actually came from the United States! But they were, hidden, killed and squashed before they could benefit anyone. One concept is as old as our constitution.

While it would be interesting to see a documentary about how all these good ideas got lost in the USA, Michael Moore takes a much more proactive stance showing how these now “alien” ideas actually work. Where To Invade Next brings these ideas back home and suggests we take another look at them.

Where to Invade Next should be seen by every man, woman and child in the United States, as soon as possible. It is a documentary that explores actuality, not the false mantra of “me first” used to manipulate Americans.

Review by James R (Jim) Martin, Documentary Filmmaker and Author

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