By Shari Perlstein
Michael Moore has done it again. In the past, he has created compelling films such as “Capitalism: A Love Story,” which playfully explored the economic downturn of 2008 and corporate greed’s effect on American lives. He also produced “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which humorously explored the government’s motives for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, he has created an ingenious, thought-provoking documentary chronicling where America should invade next and what resources we should harvest from these conquests. I know what you’re thinking; “Ew! A documentary! How boring,” but this exposé is anything but boring. When my parents took me to see this film over the five-day weekend, I was so not excited to see some documentary about all the wars America has participated in. I was mistaken. This film is the most beautiful piece of satire I have ever experienced.
We all know America as the democracy-spreading, peace-bringing interventionalist. We invade places, claiming to bring democracy, when in reality we infiltrated Afghanistan for their oil and Panama for a canal. When seeing the title, “Where Should We Invade Next,” I assumed that it would be some boring analysis about the next place America should intervene to spread democracy and take their resources. Instead, Moore went to all the countries America would never think of invading: progressive European countries and African nations. With each country, he “stole” their ideas for improving whatever aspect of society--be it government, education, work, food quality, or prisons. From France, he took their impeccable school lunches (a three course meal with serving staff). In Iceland, he highlighted the women’s participation in politics and economics. He even made a little stop in Berlin to reminisce the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The ideas Moore talks about are not radical. When he was in Finland discussing their education system, I was shamelessly flailing my arms at the screen, almost screaming, “This! This is what America needs to do!” I mean, the people of Tunisia overthrew their dictator because they were done with the corruption plaguing their country. He talked to the residents of these countries and discussed the different revolutions that took place over the last couple of decades. He got first-hand information from journalists, politicians, and even students. He then told them about the conditions in America, humor lacing his voice, but their responses of absolute disbelief and sadness truly highlight what Moore is trying to say. This is not to say that America has never played with the “radical” ideas each country possesses. In fact, the entire point of the movie was to say that America has always had these values, but we’ve strayed far, far away from our American ideals.
Moore’s message is clear. Maybe we should not be taking oil and weapons, but instead take their innovative techniques and progressive ideals. Not only did this movie discuss the values that so many of us hold dearly, but also it brings up the values that we may have never even considered. I highly recommend anyone go see this movie, but it’s only playing at a limited number of theaters, so get a ticket while you can.
Music. Movies. TV Shows. Student spotlights. Culture of all shapes and sizes--that's the focus of our Arts section.