Telluride Film Fest Presents: “Where to Invade Next,” 2/18

Telluride Film Fest Presents: “Where to Invade Next,” 2/18

On Thursday, February 18, 5:30 & 8 p.m., Telluride Film Festival presents Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next.” At Telluride’s Nugget Theatre.

From “Roger & Me” (1989) to the Oscar-winning “Bowling for Columbine” (2002), Michael Moore’s work has been entertaining, satirizing and provoking. “Where to Invade Next” ​is an expansive, rib-tickling and subversive comedy in which Moore, playing the role of  “invader,” visits nine​ nations to learn how the U.S. could improve its own prospects. It turns out the solutions to America’s most entrenched problems already appear to exist.

I received the following appeal on Wednesday, February 10. It was from Michael Moore:

Susan —

I need your help.

As you may have heard, I spent last week in the intensive care unit with pneumonia. Truth be told, it was pretty serious, and other complications arose. But then, five days later, I was still alive — thanks to a combination of Directors Guild insurance, two I-V drips of allegedly legal drugs, and a hospital TV that only got FOX News.

I was released on my own recognizance, which I tried to explain may not be the best idea. I am now at home resting and binging on the Real Housewives of The Walking Dead. All my appearances this week and last week supporting the release of my brand new movie, Where To Invade Next (Conan, Bill Maher, Charlie Rose, NPR, etc.), plus a special primary eve screening in New Hampshire, were and are cancelled.

Needless to say, I’m pretty devastated. This film means a lot to me.

Many of you have asked if there’s anything you can do to help me. I have thought about it — and, yes, actually, there is something you could do to help me.

I need you to be part of a quickly cobbled-together “army” of grassroots “ambassadors” who can do the work I was going to do this week to let people know about the movie and convince as many as possible to go see it.

I realize you haven’t seen Where To Invade Next, so I’m asking you to do this based upon my past work and your hope that I’ve made a compelling film that might affect change in this country, that will inspire people to think about things in a different way. I believe that’s exactly what I’ve done, and many who’ve seen it agree.

I also believe this movie can have a huge impact on the elections this year. It’s won a bunch of film festival prizes, it’s made the Oscars shortlist, and some have called it my best film ever. Possibly, just possibly.

Last week, laying in the hospital, I watched the presidential candidate from Vermont get attacked for his ideas being “unrealistic,” “pie in the sky,” and “ideas that sound good on paper, but aren’t going to happen.” The truth is, all these great “ideas” — free universal health care, free university, free day care, taxing and policing hedge fund millionaires — have already happened in nearly every other industrialized country in the world!

And I have the evidence — and the film — to prove it! Throughout Where To Invade Next, I invade a whole bunch of nefarious countries, from Slovenia to Germany to France to Norway, and pry loose from them the tools they’ve been using to make their countries happy, shiny places.

My goal: to show millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us so we can catch up and be #1 again! Remember “WE’RE #1!!”? Don’t you miss being #1 and waving those big foam #1 fingers at patriotic rallies? In my invasions, I don’t use any weapons, and no one gets droned. Instead, I show:

  • How to actually make all universities free (and great)
  • How to give all workers five to eight weeks PAID vacation (which increases productivity and betters the economy)
  • How simple and easy it is to give mothers (or fathers) up to a year of PAID maternity leave (which in turn benefits the company overall)
  • How in the societies where women have achieved true equality and power, everything just seems to get better for everyone
  • How to reduce the crime rate by ending the war on drugs and having a humane prison system (our recidivism rate is as high as 80%; theirs is 20%)
  • How the economy bounces back faster and is safer when bankers are put in prison
  • How students in countries without standardized tests and needless homework perform better than our students (and that countries which have more arts and music in their schools do better in math and science)

…and on and on and on. By the end of the movie, you’ll want to go live in one of those countries. But instead, I’ll show you how we can make all of that happen right here in the USA, right now.

So, what do you think? Can you be a virtual ambassador for Where To Invade Next? I know you can’t go on “Good Morning America” for me, but you can help right now from your computer or mobile device.

Want to watch the trailer? Click here to see it and then join our army by pledging to see Where To Invade Next when it opens this Friday

If a few thousand of you suddenly became champions and ambassadors for Where To Invade Next, then maybe we can pull this off. I certainly would be forever in your debt. Thanks for being there for me.

All my best,
Michael Moore

A few critics have weighed in already. Here is what Stephen Holden of the New York Times had to say about the film.

Michael Moore in his latest documentary, “Where to Invade Next.” Credit Dog Eat Dog Film.

Michael Moore in his latest documentary, “Where to Invade Next.” Credit Dog Eat Dog Film.

Michael Moore’s latest documentary, “Where to Invade Next,” is a sprawling, didactic polemic wittily disguised as a European travelogue. Watching it made me feel like a deprived child with my nose pressed against the glass of a magical toy store in a faraway land. On one side is a happy, harmonious land of productive people. On the other is a world of misery, anxiety, war and greed.

As Mr. Moore “invades” one country and then the next, beginning in Italy and ending in Iceland, you begin to suspect that heaven on earth is anywhere but in America — unless, of course, you belong to the top 1 percent.

The film’s premise is only half serious and wildly exaggerated, but there is enough truth in it to make you squirm and consider what went wrong. Every country has problems, many of them very serious. (The film was completed before the migrant crisis in Europe.)

“Where to Invade Next” is really a fairy tale with a moral. As Mr. Moore visits European schools, workplaces, hospitals and prisons, the movie builds into a cri de coeur about America’s weakening social contract: the widening inequality gap, the disappearing middle class and a military-based economy. “A land of we,” one talking head remarks, has transformed into a “land of me.”

Mr. Moore, who wrote, directed and produced the film, is his usual screen alter-ego, a glib, blue-collar Everyman lumbering along and playing naïve when it helps make his point. There are none of the ambushes of those he sees as high-level villains that he staged in previous documentaries. There may be too much music and newsreel bloat, but “Where to Invade Next” is nevertheless stirring.

His examples of progressive European social institutions are cherry-picked to make American audiences feel envious and guilty. In a running joke he notes that many progressive European ideas and policies originated in the United States.

In Italy, Mr. Moore interviews a radiant couple; they love their work in a furniture factory, where the employees have more than 30 days of paid vacation every year. Across Italy, mothers have five months of paid maternity leave…

Continue reading here. And watch the trailer:

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