Michael Moore had a rough go of it for a little while. As he continued making documentaries following his 1989 debut, Roger & Me, he generated as much hatred as he did adoration. Those who loved him found solace in hearing from a hard-core lefty during the George W. Bush reign; those who didn’t argued that he was a reactive propagandist.
Moore hasn’t released a new film since 2009, but tomorrow, his latest documentary will open for a brief theatrical release in New York and L.A. Where to Invade Next takes a look at other countries’ domestic policies and what the U.S. might be able to learn from them.
To wit: Germany teaches all of its schoolchildren, in hugely compassionate detail, about the horrors of the Holocaust. Finland, whose education system is among the best in the world, only sends its children to school for three hours a day so that they have time to develop other parts of their brains, such as social skills. Iceland was the first country to elect a female president and requires 40 percent of corporate boards to be women.
Moore says that he decided to focus on the positive—a new tactic for him—because much of the negative is already known.
“The mainstream media does a really good job telling us night after night how all the rest of the world is just so bad, they pay so much in taxes, and it’s just awful,” he says. “And look, a lot of it is awful…But every few years, I’ll ask for two hours of your time to present the other version, the other truths about what goes on.”
Where to Invade Next opens in L.A. at the Arclight on December 23. Tickets available here.